By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

Whiteaker Middle was one of over eight thousand schools worldwide to participate in the Great Kindness Challenge last year.

This year, Feb. 6-10, Whiteaker counselor Pat Curran would like to see that kindness spread throughout Keizer as Mayor Cathy Clark will declare it Great Kindness Challenge Week at the Monday, Feb. 6 city council meeting.

“We’re trying to get the businesses on River Road that have a reader board to put something up about the Great Kindness Challenge, just to get more people involved because what we’d eventually like this to be is a city-wide thing during that week,” Curran said.

During the week, students will get a checklist of 50 different acts of kindness, like “Smile at 25 people” and “Offer to help your custodian.” At the end of the week, prizes will be given to the kindest classes.

Whiteaker is also raising money for Assistance League of Salem, which provides school supplies and clothes to students in need. During lunch each day, students will participate in a different kindness activity, like signing a poster for the feeder elementary schools and making thank you cards for staff members. Each day will also have a theme where students are invited to dress up. Monday is super hero day. Thursday is crazy hair day.

Whiteaker started doing the Great Kindness Challenge three years ago.

“There’s a lot of anti-bullying campaigns that are out there. We do anti-bullying curriculum in our classrooms, which is great, but this is kind of flipping it on its head,” Curran said. “We’re trying to get kids to do positive things as opposed to just don’t do negative things. We’re basically just trying to encourage kids to do kind things here at school but also in the community. It’s a pretty simple idea but it’s a neat thing we’d like to catch on.”