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Goose Creek Elementary is spreading its culture of kindness

Published Sunday, February 3, 2019

Students with buddy bench

GCE students take a photo with '"buddy benches" they painted as a part of the school's art club. (BCSD photo)

There’s something living and breathing in the halls of Goose Creek Elementary, and it's something teachers, administrators and students hope will grow and impact the community.

At Goose Creek Elementary, kindness is not simply the February character trait. In every classroom and each hallway you can see smiling faces, hear laughter and witness children eagerly completing assignments. Kindness is the culture at Goose Creek Elementary.

Last week GCE took classroom lessons and school activities focused on encouraging kindness into overdrive. Following several days of school-wide initiatives focused on creating a positive environment, encouraging others and eliminating bullying, the school held a rally.

A parade of classes, each proudly carrying kindness banners, ended on the playground with music, dancing and an attempt to spread the grace and goodwill.

As a school participating in The Great Kindness Challenge, GCE was one of more than 15,000 schools focused on positivity last week. While the week will certainly be one some students remember for the rest of their lives, administrators say kindness at GCE is more than a weeklong focus at the end of January.

As a part of The Great Kindness Challenge, schools are challenged to complete 50 acts of kindness. At GCE, random acts of kindness have been a priority in some classes since the beginning of the school year.

From “buddy benches” painted by the school’s art club to friendship bracelets shared with students at neighboring Berkeley County Schools, administrators say last week’s rally was simply a mechanism to further grow the kindness culture. Students even made a kindness banner to be displayed in Goose Creek City Hall.

“We want it to catch fire,” said GCE Assistant Principal Christi Furrow. “We want it to become a culture not just in our school, but in our community.”

To make that possible it’s a priority at GCE to provide opportunities and experiences students can’t get from academic books.

“We believe that’s how you change the world, and all of this continues to build our culture,” Furrow said.

Brian Troutman