Tilton First Graders Embark on 10-Day ‘Kindness Challenge’

WHAV News photograph

Students at Tilton Elementary School are doing good deeds for 10 days as part of a class “kindness challenge.” (WHAV News file photograph)

Kindness is cool—just ask the first graders at Haverhill’s Tilton Elementary School. Students in seven classrooms are in the midst of a 10-day “kindness challenge” to spread cheer and better their community, organizer Diane DeAvila tells WHAV.

Putting the plan into place with the help of 10 other teachers and staff members, Danvers educator DeAvila was inspired to show children how a small gesture can pay big dividends.

“Kindness is a major part of the message here at Tilton. We have our ROAR acronym, and the first R stands for ‘respectful and kind to others.’ It’s a social skill we’re teaching and these kids need that,” said DeAvila.

Kicking off the campaign during a Monday assembly, DeAvila and her colleagues spend 10 minutes together each morning issuing a new challenge to students, ranging from giving a compliment to a classmate to doing something to take care of the environment.

An unexpected result of the challenge, DeAvila says, is seeing normally shy students’ confidence soar.

“Giving someone a compliment can take a lot of courage for somebody, including these kids. The confidence to give a compliment is something I didn’t expect but I’ve seen happen.”

The kindness challenge isn’t the only way Tilton’s tigers are showing off an attitude of gratitude. On Thursday night, students and families are invited to participate in neighborhood Christmas caroling in the city’s Mount Washington section, DeAvila said.