CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. – It may be by doing a silly dance, sharing a smile, or picking up a piece of trash, but whatever act of kindness they choose to perform, Nanuet children and teens are helping to spread the love in Rockland.
A contingent of schoolchildren appeared this week on “Good Morning America” which was reporting on the Great Kindness Challenge that is taking place across the nation this week.
According to GMA host George Stephanopoulos, 10 million kids at 12,000 schools are taking part in the Kids for Peace-sponsored event.
Its motto: “One Week. One Checklist. Infinite Happiness.”
Every registered school gets tool kit and a 50-item-long checklist that ranges from everything from slipping a nice note in a classmate’s backpack and helping younger students to thanking a volunteer, bringing a flower to school staff and telling a joke to make someone laugh.
Participants can even create their own kind deeds to do.
Every school that takes the challenge, which organizers call a “positive and proactive bullying prevention initiative.”
The GMA segment featured ABC contributor Jesse Palmer hitting the streets of New York City where he greeted everyone with a cheery “Good Morning!,” thanked firefighters and bus drivers and handed out free pizza, or “za” as he called it.
The rest of the GMA team – Michael Strahan, Robin Roberts and Lara Spencer – talked about the times when they, or their families, were the recipients of much-needed kindness.
Spencer recalled how people were “so kind” to her mother after her father passed away, saying: “They took her under their wing, collectively; it was pretty amazing."
The young Nanuet students, all sporting blue “Kindness Matters” T-shirts, cheered and clapped when Palmer asked them if they were ready for the “big challenge.”
ABC spokeswoman Allison Bridgman said the kids were from several different schools in the Nanuet district.
The challenge is hosted by Kids for Peace, a global nonprofit organization that was co-founded in 2006 by Danielle Gram, a high school honors student, and Jill McManigal, a mother and former teacher.
What started a group of neighborhood kids who simply wanted to make their community a better place has grown, Kids for Peace said, “into an interconnected network of young peacebuilders worldwide.
At the heart of the challenge are the beliefs that “kindness is strength” and acts of kindness, when repeated, can become lifelong habits.
And, it said: “As kindness becomes a habit, peace becomes possible.”
The Daily Voice is attempting to find out which Rockland schools are participating in the challenge.
For updates, check back here.