Bowman named national finalist
BAKERSVILLE – Then, there were 10.
Nearly 500 schools nationwide participated in the 2018 spring cycle of the Middle School Kindness Challenge and Wednesday, Sept. 5, it was announced Bowman Middle School is among the program’s 10 national finalists.
The Middle School Kindness Challenge is a program of Stand for Children, a national nonprofit education advocacy organization supported by Hasbro Inc.’s “Be Fearless, Be Kind” philanthropic initiative to foster kindness and improve the overall climate in schools.
Bowman principal Dr. Paula Holder said the school’s Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, or PBIS, team had been searching for a project to encourage empathy and kindness among students and being named a national finalist in the Kindness Challenge is a testament to the Bowman faculty’s sense of community.
“Our teachers are very proud, and they should be,” she said. “We have a great community here, and our teachers work together as a team. When we decided to do this, they really took it and ran with it, and the students got behind it as well.”
Students from the 10 finalist schools took part in four weeks of activities and lessons that generated dialogue around the importance of demonstrating kindness in school and day-to-day life. Bowman’s PBIS committee announced St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as its beneficiary and the faculty operated as a team to teach lessons about kindness and discuss the importance of St. Jude.
Parents and other members of the community donated money and fundraisers such as a student dance, auctions and others took place to help the school reach its $500 goal.
“Before we knew it, we had more than tripled our original goal,” Holder said. “This challenge has definitely changed Bowman Middle School for the better. The Kindness Challenge created an atmosphere of closeness among staff, students, parents and the community that would have been difficult to achieve without this common goal.”
The Kindness Challenge became more than just a competition as the school year ended when a Bowman student was admitted to St. Jude with a life-threatening illness.
The student is still a patient and is undergoing treatment at St. Jude.
“He will benefit from fundraisers and support put in place by Bowman students and staff,” Holder said.