WEST ORANGE, NJ - From Jan. 26-30, Gregory School took part in “The Great Kindness Challenge,” a nationwide effort to promote acts of kindness. Students were tasked with challenges including signing thank you posters to teachers, “Smile at 25 People,” “Give a Handshake to 10 People,” and “Say ‘Good Morning’ to 15 People.”
During the week, “special guests” made an appearance at Gregory to welcome students as they arrived at school including Board of Education members Michelle Casalino and Laura Lab; Mayor Robert Parisi; WOPD Officer Dan Carroll; Captain Phil Bussey and Ryan McPherson of the WOFD, and Betsy Stephens, Gregory parent and Director of “Moore Love.”
Gregory Guidance Counselor Sarah McIntosh explained the concept of the challenge. “Throughout the month of January, we worked to have students become more aware of their behavior and of how they can be a positive influence on the people around them. By participating in a month of activities, students experienced how kind acts increase exponentially.”
Earlier in the month, students received cards with a number to log on to Moore’s website and describe their acts of kindness. They gave the cards away to multiply acts of kindness. As a bonus, students received wristbands that they used in participating stores like Dunkin Donuts and Supreme Bakery, Eagle Rock Lanes, Kim’s Nails, and Suzy Que’s for special treats and incentives.
Other initiatives during the month of January included a school-wide read and discussion of “Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed,” held during Library; and No Name Calling Week, where the school worked as a team to collect ‘stars’ that culminated in a “Call Me By My Name” day on Jan. 23.