Health officials deliver doses of teddy bears and health tips to Cerritos Elementary students

About 70 first-graders at Cerritos Elementary learned how to be kind to each other and themselves during a health event Tuesday morning.

Each student received a stuffed animal during the Teddy Bear Clinic, while a nurse and doctor from Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital quizzed the children about healthy habits — from regularly brushing their teeth to eating fruits and vegetables. The students were also taught to treat one another with respect.

The campus event was part of the Great Kindness Challenge, an anti-bullying initiative put on by the nonprofit Kids for Peace and sponsored by Dignity Health.

"[The challenge] is dedicated to creating a culture of kindness in elementary, middle and high schools," said Cassie McCarty, the hospital's director of mission integration.

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McCarty said the doctor and nurse were impressed by the students' quick understanding of what they were trying to convey during the clinic — the importance of staying healthy and being kind.

In addition to the clinic, McCarty said the hospital is also holding a special contest for Glendale Unified's middle schools as part of the Great Kindness Challenge.

"We challenged the middle school students to create kindness videos — 60- to 90-second videos — to demonstrate what kindness means to them," she said.

Judging is currently taking place, and the school with the winning video will be awarded $500.

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Andy Nguyen, andy.nguyen@latimes.com

Twitter: @Andy_Truc

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