Johnston's Winsor Hill becomes ‘Kindness Certified School’

Kids for Peace, a global non-profit that hosts the Great Kindness Challenge, recognized the Johnston elementary school


Many people will tell you that Johnston’s Winsor Hill Elementary School may have written “The Best Public School Story of the 2021-22 Academic Year.”

As proof, Dr. Amy Burns — the always-smiling popular principal — along with Behavioral Director Briana Bielecki and Health-Physical Education Teacher Susan Parillo recently put up a huge and colorful banner in the cafeteria that proclaims Winsor Hill as a Kindness Certified School.

Back a few months, Winsor Hill held a highly-important two-part poster contest for students in Grades 1-2 and Grades 3-5 that centered around such topics as friendship as well as bullying.

Likewise, student artists produced an impressive “Kindness Tree” that was a focal point inside the well-maintained school’s main entrance.

“The students in Grade 1 and 2 completed a unit on Friendship,” Parillo explained. “Students shared the qualities of being a good friend.”

And the first place winner was Finley Shavalier whose poster message was: “A good friend likes you just the way you are.”

Owen Botelho (Grade 2) took second place while Noah Guimaraes (Grade 1) won third.

Meanwhile, the students in Grade 3-5 completed a unit on bullying to further understand what bullying is, how to recognize a bully, and how to help.

“They learned being an upstander is most important and not a bystander,” Parillo added while noting the first place winner was Layla Gonsalves, whose impressive and colorful poster message read: “Bee a bigger person — don’t bee a bully.”

She then announced that Jacqueline Chevalier (Grade 5) was second in the Bully Poster event with Victoria Salois (Grade 5) taking third.

As many people will attest, the world can use some extra joy right now (following what recently happened in Evalde, Texas and Russia’s senseless war on the Ukraine).

Thus, Winsor Hill became part of the 11th Annual Great Kindness Challenge and became a “Kindness Certified School” by Kids for Peace, which is a global non-profit that hosts the Great Kindness Challenge. School staff emphasized the certification is a positive and uplifting program that fosters connection, inclusion, appreciation and overall well-being.

The annual program has multiplied in enrollment each year, having grown to more than 18 million students in 36,000 schools and reaching across all 50 states and 115 countries.

While Burns was extraordinarily elated with Winsor Hill’s prestigious designation and could not have been more proud of the faculty, staff and entire student body, Jill McManigal, co-founder and executive director of Kids for Peace, said “I’m thrilled to recognize Winsor Hill School’s commitment to kindness.”

To which Dr. Bernard DiLullo, the long-serving Superintendent of Schools in Johnston, offered: “The Winsor Hill community has consistently been one of social responsibility as well as academic excellence. The staff, students and families regularly come together to help others that are less fortunate. From the Principal to the faculty and staff and to the families and students, when here is a need — whether (it’s) a financial need, emotional need or supply need, they are always there to fill the void.”

And, as DiLulllo continued with a wide smile on his face and appreciation ringing in his voice: “Kindness is such an important attribute and the students at Winsor Hill certainly have the role models to guide them. I thank all of the Winsor community for showing such caring!”


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