Carlsbad takes a leap for kindness

Sophia Molinar


Lauren Henry, Staff Writer

On January 21, The Kids for Peace foundation kicked off the Great Kindness Challenge in the Carlsbad Unified School District and other schools around the world. 

“Kids for Peace started ten years ago by myself, another mom of two Carlsbad students and a Carlsbad High School junior,” Jill McManigal, co-founder of Kids for Peace said. “We had a philosophical conversation about the meaning of life, and we talked about Ghandi’s quote, ‘If we are to achieve everlasting peace, we must begin with the children’. Inspired by this quote, the three of us gathered some high school students and discussed how to make the world a better place.”

The Great Kindness Challenge consists of 50 friendly tasks students can complete. These acts of kindness retrain the younger generation to make kindness a habit.

“The Great Kindness Challenge is so important because it touches students around our community, the state, the nation and the world,” Superintendent Dr. Lovely said. “There is no better way to encourage peace than to come together through kindness. Kindness is a universal language, while we may disagree on a lot of things, we can all agree that kindness matters.”

Kids for peace started the Great Kindness Challenge in 2010 at Kelly, Hope and Jefferson Elementary schools. The foundation has continued growing since then.

“Now, this year, we have over 7,000 schools who participate with over 4 and a half million students, in all 50 states and 61 different countries,” McManigal said.

To kick off the Great Kindness Challenge week, Superintendent Lovely and two Carlsbad principals, Mr. Lund and Mr. Tubbs,  jumped from a plane at Oceanside Municipal Airport.

“Mr. Lund and Mr. Tubbs told their students last year that if they completed the 50 acts of kindness he would jump out of an airplane,” McManigal said. “I was talking to Dr. Lovely and told her there was an extra seat on the plane, and she agreed. We used this as a kickoff and motivation for all the other schools participating.”

Dr. Lovely’s confidence in the Great Kindness Challenge provided her with assurance in her plane jump.

“The Great Kindness Challenge is a really big deal and very important, so taking a leap for something that means so much seemed like a great way to bring attention to it,” Lovely said. “Before jumping from the plane I felt intrepid, and uncertain. I was unsure about how the velocity would affect my body, but I felt very confident being attached to an experienced jump master as we jumped from 13,000 feet.”

The foundation Kids for Peace has big plans for the future and hopes to perpetuate kindness through future generations.

“My biggest hope for the foundation is to create world peace,” McManigal said. “I want to work with kids to create a world where everyone feels happy, loved and respected. We aren’t going to stop until world peace is a reality for everyone.”