FLEMINGTON, NJ - The Flemington-Raritan Regional School District joined millions of students around the country in the Great Kindness Challenge from Jan. 27 through Jan. 31, taking part in a week's worth of comprehensive and inclusive programming to celebrate and promote kindness and compassion.
The challenge was created and launched in 2011 by Kids for Peace, a global nonprofit in California, that serves as a proactive and positive bullying prevention initiative to improve school climate and increase student engagement. The challenge is a week devoted to performing as many acts of kindness as possible and supporting a wonderful cause.
This year, the Flemington-Raritan Regional School District supported the Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center at Hunterdon Medical Center to help cover the costs of co-pays for patients who are in treatment.
Counselors in the district created a kindness t-shirt design contest, where one design will be selected from student entries to print on t-shirts. With each purchase of a shirt, a portion of the sale goes to the Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center.
In addition, according to a release, artists are encouraged to submit their designs to the Doodle for Google contest, which ends March 13 and focuses on kindness.
Each school also did a fundraiser for the cancer center. At Reading-Fleming Intermediate School, collections took place during the winter concerts, a staff Souper Bowl Cook-off and on World Cancer Day Feb. 4. Barbara Tofani, administrative director of the cancer center, attended the Souper Bowl Cook-Off to serve as a judge, where she met a student, Shelby, a sixth grade student at RFIS, who presented the impact cancer can have on both those who are faced with it and their loved ones.
Shelby also inspired several of the school community's ideas, including coloring ribbons and wearing a color to bring awareness to various types of cancer.
The district has so far raised more than $3,000, and the district is excited to select a "no co-pay day" at the cancer center to cover the costs for patients.
Kathryn Lemerich, the district's anti-bullying coordinator, thanked everyone for the work they did in the service of the students, and for supporting the initiative.