By Brad Balicki and Wah Htoo
A new positivity challenge created by elementary school Mary Jensen is meant to help spread random acts of kindness in tough times. “Liftup101” was started with the intent set on making the world a better place, according to Jensen.
The initiative was created along with four accompanying games: the 101 Box Grid, 101 Balloon Chart, Kindness Log, and the Young Child Box Grid.
“With the recent tragedies that have fallen on our District, children and community members wonder, ‘What can I do?,’ ‘How can I help?,’ ‘What power do I have?.’ Well, one thing is true: as humans we have the power to lift up other humans,” Jensen said on Facebook. “We can help make them feel loved, appreciated, and special. It doesn’t matter how old you are—anyone can make a difference. We need to constantly tell one another how much they mean to us. Another reason why? Because we can!”
Jensen also stated that “My school got on board and helped to create a fun and easy challenge.” She also encourages teamwork by adding” If someone does it by themselves, it might take about a month to complete. The more people you do the challenge with, though, the faster it can be completed.”
The 101 Box Grid is a game where participants cross off each challenge in a square and continue on to the next challenge when finished. These challenges range from making someone laugh to complimenting a friend. The second game is a 101 Balloon chart in which it acts the same way as the grid game but with balloons instead of squares.
The Young Child Box Grid is similar to the challenges previously mentioned but is designed more for kids. The Kindness Log requires participants to pick a challenge and record how it went. All of these games share a common goal: to spread random acts of kindness across our schools and town.
While the “Liftup101” challenge was not created in response to bullying, if it catches on at the high school it could help improve the learning environment.
“I think it is important to instruct students that it is important to take the initiative in confronting someone that may be either physically or emotionally harming one of their peers,” said Sarah Hager, a junior at BHS. “People need to stand up for people that cannot stand up against themselves.”
The Twitter hashtag #liftup101 has caught on at the elementary level with teachers posting pictures and anecdotes of how their students have used the challenge to better the lives of others.
In a Spectator poll given on Dec. 2, questioned whether the “Liftup101” challenge would ever catch on at the high school level.
“Honestly no [it won’t have an effect] because a majority of high school students are so immature that it would not work out too well,” one respondent said in an anonymous online survey.
Other respondents think that bullying will never stop without a change in approach to peers.
“There will always be people that get satisfaction out of harming others. It is also extremely difficult and frightening to work up the courage to admit that someone may be hurting you.”