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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
January 9, 2024

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

The Great Kindness Challenge Week: January 22–26, 2024

The California Department of Education, in partnership with The Great Kindness Challenge® (GKC), encourages California’s school communities to participate in the GKC, January 22–26, 2024. The theme for the 13th annual GKC Week is Create Kindness.

As the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and as a part of my Transforming Schools Initiative, I am committed to sharing resources that can assist you in helping our students build empathy, feel supported, and thrive; the GKC is one of these resources. The GKC is a global campaign that promotes kindness, social-emotional health, and bullying prevention in prekindergarten through grade twelve. The GKC provides many free resources to support California’s students and educators. For ideas and inspiration, watch the 2024 GKC Kickoff Video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-Q3EBqTcyk. Two resources of note that are being offered are:

  • The GKC Checklist and Toolkit for use during the official kindness week, January 22–26, 2024. During this powerful, unifying, and uplifting week, students are challenged to complete as many acts of kindness as possible using the customizable checklist. The GKC gives every student an opportunity to model kindness and develop key social-emotional skills that are vital for school and life success. The GKC offers a checklist to use during school and also a continuum of kindness by offering home connections through a family edition of the checklist. Sample GKC checklists can be accessed at the following link: https://thegreatkindnesschallenge.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Checklist-Preview-Page_2023-2024.pdf.

  • The GKC Classroom Curriculum for year-round use. This weekly kindness program for grades one through eight features a classroom kindness checklist, where each act corresponds with an engaging kindness lesson. The lessons are designed to support social–emotional learning and provide opportunities not only for interaction and reflection but also for fun! Lessons include kindness quotes, interesting facts, physical energizers, and activities to improve students’ well-being and inspire them to extend kindness out to the world! Learn more by visiting the GKC web page: https://thegreatkindnesschallenge.com.

If you participated in the GKC challenge last year, you were among great company! More than 4 million California students participated, representing 7,456 schools across 61 school districts, sharing over 204 million acts of kindness! I am so proud of your effort to nurture the transformative power of kindness among our schools and students.

Although the GKC is from January 22–26, I encourage all California schools to participate beyond these dates. Anytime is a good time to spread kindness!

You can sign up for free and receive the GKC resources, including access to the GKC Checklists, Toolkit, and Classroom Curriculum, by visiting the GKC web page: https://thegreatkindnesschallenge.com. Schools that sign up each year will become a Kindness Certified School and receive a GKC certificate and digital GKC badge to display proudly online and at their schools!

In closing, I extend my sincerest gratitude to school staff statewide for the work that you are doing to build a kinder, more inclusive future.

Sincerely,

Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

TT:dr
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, January 09, 2024

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