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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
December 14, 2022

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and Principals:

The Great Kindness Challenge Week: January 23–27, 2023

The California Department of Education (CDE), in partnership with The Great Kindness Challenge® (GKC), encourages all teachers, staff, students, and families of California schools to participate in the GKC, January 23–27, 2023.

As the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and as a part of my Transforming Schools Initiative, I am committed to sharing resources that can support you in helping our students to heal, recover, and thrive in post-pandemic education; the GKC is one of these resources. The GKC is a global campaign that promotes kindness, social-emotional health, and bullying prevention in pre-kindergarten through grade twelve. The GKC provides many free resources to support California’s students and educators. Two notable resources being offered this school year are:

  • The GKC Checklist and Toolkit. During this powerful, unifying, and uplifting week, students are challenged to complete as many acts of kindness as possible using customizable checklists. The GKC gives every student an opportunity to model kindness and develop key social-emotional skills that are vital for school, work, and life success. PDFs of sample GKC checklists are available at

  • The new GKC Classroom Curriculum to use year-round. This multi-week kindness program for grades one through eight features a new classroom kindness checklist and 50 corresponding kindness lessons. The lessons are designed to support social-emotional learning and provide opportunities for interaction and reflection—but also fun! Lessons include kindness quotes, interesting facts, physical energizers, and activities to improve students’ well-being and inspire them to extend kindness out into the world. For access to the GKC Classroom Curriculum, visit the GKC Classroom Curriculum Tools web page at

If you participated in the GKC challenge last year, you were among great company. More than 4.5 million California students participated, representing 7,389 schools across 50 school districts and sharing over 230 million acts of kindness! I am so proud of your efforts to nurture the transformative powers of kindness among our schools and students.

Anytime is a good time to spread kindness. I encourage all California schools to participate in the GKC from January 23–27, 2023, and beyond. Sign up for free and get all the tools you need for a successful GKC on the GKC website at

Thank you for all that you do to create a safe and positive school environment for our students. Your kindness matters.


Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Last Reviewed: Thursday, February 29, 2024

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