GREENSBORO, N.C. – Students are learning to 'Pay it Forward' to each other and to their families thanks to a kindness challenge.

In honor of Global Character Day on Wednesday, Guilford County Middle Schools kicked off various projects as part of the Middle School Kindness Project initiative.

The initiative comes from the national Kind Schools Project, supported by Stand for Children.

“The Middle School Kindness Challenge offers our school district an opportunity to increase kindness as a way to improve school climate, student safety and increase academic outcomes for young people,” said Phyllis Martin, School Support Officer.

Students at Northwest Guilford Middle School started the Kindness Rocks club to show off their kind character. The “Rockstars” along with other students decorated rocks with kind words and quotes that are being displayed outside the school.

Megan Sharp, a social studies teacher at the school and club advisor, said the students collected and cleaned the rocks themselves.

They then delivered them to each homeroom class for each of the students to paint and decorate their own kindness rock.

“We wanted it to be student-led as much as possible,” said Sharp.

“Rockstar” Jenna Scheponik said “I think it’s just nice that we can make our school happy and a kind place.”

Jackson Middle School students created kindness cards for their bus drivers and parents to give to them at the end of the school day.

The school’s kindness teacher, Jorma Comazzi, says that this project serves as an extension from the intrapersonal relationships they already develop to establish kindness.

“A lot of that couldn’t have happened without these personal relationships that were already being built that start with just basic kindness,” Comazzi noted.

Guilford County Middle Schools will conclude the challenge with kindness celebration the week of October 9, but the students say they hope to continue practicing kindness in their everyday lives.

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