October is bullying prevention month across the nation. The goal is to raise awareness about bullying and prevent bullying from taking place.

At St. Helens Elementary school they are taking bullying awareness and prevention to a higher level in October by participating in the 21 Days of Kindness event.

“21 Days of Kindness” is a national effort to promote kindness as a way of preventing bullying. Students are encouraged to commit 5 acts of kindness each day and record them on a long, thin slip of paper. The pieces of paper are collected each day, then folded into a circle and stapled together to create a chain.

Over the entire month of October St. Helens Principal Stephanie Teel expects more than 2,000 kindness slips will be formed into a kindness chain. The chain is then hung on the gymnasium wall, with a goal of having the chain circle the entire gym.

“Kindness is part of our school pledge”, Teel said, “And the kids are having fun.”

When asked about participation Teel said, “The kids were super engaged once they saw the chain of kindness.”

The goal is to reduce the number of behavior referrals, raise awareness about bullying and prevent bullying.

Leadership is also part of the event. Each day four students are chosen for their good behavior to collect and count the kindness slips, then fold and staple them into a chain.

“We’re looking for the student leaders to be positive role models in the school,” Teel said.

Once the event ends the number of kindness slips will be submitted to organization founders. The founders will then send a personalized YouTube message to the school congratulating them.