Byars Dowdy students participate in annual challenge

Staff Reports • Updated Mar 22, 2018 at 6:00 PM

Byars Dowdy Elementary School students are learning simple acts of kindness can go a long way.  

Last month, the staff and students took part in the annual great kindness challenge.

“This can be as simple as giving a smile to someone or complimenting a friend or teacher,” said Julie Sydenstricker, school counselor.

Lebanon Special School District’s motto of “Be Kind” resonates at Byars Dowdy. The challenge allows students to see there is goodness and genuine people in the world.  Teaching the students to pursue kindness shows a simple way to connect positively with people around them. A peaceful atmosphere where learning can take place is enhanced by the habit of kindness.

“Simple acts of kindness do not cost money and they are so easy to do,” said Sydenstricker.

The great kindness challenge was co-founded in 2011 by Danielle Gram, a high school honors student, and Jill McManigal, a mother and former elementary school teacher. According to Kids for Peace, the nonprofit sister organization, the challenge was requested as a movement to create “a more positive, unified and respectful school environment.” Since then, schools worldwide have adopted its philosophy and participated in its annual challenge.  

Byars Dowdy Elementary School services prekindergarten through fifth grades, including services for children who qualify for special education. It is the oldest standing school in the Lebanon Special School District and houses about 650 students. For more information, visit byarsdowdy.org. 


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