Birney Elementary School students have turned a school tragedy into a lesson in kindness.
It was just over a year ago – January 17 – that an arson fire heavily damaged the cafeteria, auditorium and PrimeTime before-after school facility at the University Heights campus. The fire was early in the morning of the day students were set to return to school after winter break. The school marked the occasion by participating in The Great Kindness Challenge.
"We thought celebrating acts of kindness would be a welcome alternative to the memories of the last time we came back from winter break," said principal Amanda Hammond-Williams. "The kids really took the challenge on. We were also excited to kick off the restoration of our burned-out building. This week was full of good beginnings and caring acts, then we wrapped up the week by wearing red, pink or white and forming a huge heart shape on the playground."
The Great Kindness Challenge is one school week devoted to performing as many acts of kindness as possible, choosing from a checklist of 50 suggestions.
"This week was full of good beginnings and caring acts, then we wrapped up the week by wearing red, pink or white and forming a huge heart shape on the playground," said Hammond-Williams.
There was considerable structural and other damage to the building. A completion date is expected later this year.
The Birney community continues to raise funds to support the reconstruction and other programs at the school. Visit the school's website for more information.