Colorado School Finalist for National Honor

Parent & Family Engagement | 03/11/2019

Krista Spurgin
Executive Director

We are pleased to announce that Milliken Middle School in Northern Colorado has been selected as a finalist for the Middle School Kindness Challenge, a national honor that recognizes schools for their work to improve school climate and foster a safe and supportive environment for all students.

The Middle School Kindness Challenge (MSKC) is run by Stand for Children and is open to any middle school across the country. Schools that participate in the MSKC receive access to lesson plans and materials-- free of charge, to teach and support kindness. Milliken Middle School was selected as a finalist among nearly 600 schools nationally. As a finalist, Milliken Middle school will receive $1,000 in Donors Choose Credits to continue their commitment to kindness work. 

Milliken students created the “Uplifting Express,” a mailbox for encouraging notes and letters.  Students and staff drop off their notes for each other throughout the week and Student Council members deliver notes each Friday at the end of the day.  Several students have been writing anonymous notes to distribute to students who need a little pick me up, seem sad, alone, or have suffered a loss.  School counselors help identity these students.

From the resources offered through the MSKC, Milliken students choose four lessons for the entire school to participate in. Members of the Student Council then prepared and led the lessons during homeroom time daily.

“We have prioritized creating a culture of inclusion and compassion at Milliken Middle School for several years. Our students took the lead on running our Middle School Kindness Challenge so they were able to get great buy in from their peers and develop important leadership skills at the same time,” said Ron Hruby, Principal of Milliken Middle School and kindness co-captain. 

“It’s really inspirational to see everyone be excited to be kind to their peers. It was really fun getting everyone engaged and it was really cool to see the difference we made. I hope that we left a kindness legacy at our school and we hope it lasts for a really long time,” said 8th grader Ellie Stratton.

“It is more important than ever for school leaders and students to focus intentionally on ways to build a culture kindness within their school. I loved learning about the work Milliken Middle School has done. I hope many other Colorado schools will take advantage of these resources in their schools and sign up for the challenge,” said Krista Spurgin Stand for Children Colorado Executive Director.  

 “I loved starting out the school year with the Middle School Kindness Challenge. We are so pleased to be a finalist. Students have created a grant application process for their classmates and teachers to use to apply for funds to continue to advance our kindness efforts so that is how we will decide how to use our Donors Choose credits,” said Sabrina Peterson, Milliken Middle School educator and kindness co-captain.  

Sabrina Peterson and Ron Hruby, kindness co-captains for Milliken Middle School

 The MSKC is held twice a year, in the Fall and the Spring. The Middle School Kindness Champion for the Fall challenge will be announced on March 22nd. The Champion will receive an additional $4,000 in Donors Choose credits bringing their total award to $5,000. The current cycle of the MSKC is now open, and the last day to register is May 6, 2019. Educators are encouraged to learn more and register today at

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