There is extra gratitude and kindness happening these days at Shevchenko School in Vita. 

This is part of a 30-day challenge, organized by teacher Mary Chalmers. 

“So, we make an announcement every morning and we remind people to practice either some gratitude or to practice kindness within our school for each and every day as they go out into the world, hopefully encouraging our students to be more kind, more grateful, and more empathetic,” she says. 

This challenge includes different things students and staff can do, at school and at home, to care for others and to draw attention to the great things in life. 

Chalmers had first introduced this challenge to the school back in February and it was seen as successful, so they decided to bring it back in time for the Christmas holidays. 

Principal Penelope Alcock appreciates the impact this is having on the school environment. 

“It just builds the spirits up, of thinking in a positive way,” she says. 

Alcock notes that this challenge is also for the adults in the school, which helps students to see that these are great practices for all ages. 

This challenge started on November 15th with a gratitude task, expressing something you are grateful for. 

Some examples of other tasks included in this challenge, saying something positive to a friend, being kind to yourself, bringing a tin for the food bank, and making a Christmas card for a family member. 

Chalmers says there are a number of tasks that include saying “Good morning” or “Hello” to someone and that is done with intention. She notes there are many students who don’t have someone at home in the morning, so they want to make sure their first conversations are positive and welcoming, letting students know they are seen and important. 

-With files from Carly Koop


In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, SteinbachOnline encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the SteinbachOnline app.