By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Madison Middle School South students are rockin’ kindness.
During the first week of school in early September, students in teacher Rachel Owens’ sixth grade English Language Arts classes created around 80 “kindness rocks” that were “planted’ outside around the community for people to find.
“The idea came from the Kindness Rock Project that has been kind of floating around the last few years,” said Owens. “I wanted to start the school year on a positive note by promoting kindness between my students and throughout the community.”
Owens was inspired to conduct the project after reading the book, “Be Kind,” by Pat Zietlow Miller, which is about the power of kindness. She said the character learns there are different ways to show kindness and how even small acts can make a big difference.
“After reading the book to my students and discussing its themes, each student painted a rock,” said Owens. “The rocks are anywhere from 2 to 5 inches and flat(ish) on one side so they are easy to paint. I encouraged my students to write positive messages or quotes on their rocks.”
Owens said other students chose to paint an artistic design on their rocks.
“On the back is a label with the words #KindnessRocksGroveport,” said Owens. “After the rocks were sealed and finished, students were encouraged to ‘hide’ the rocks in their community. Students decided where to ‘plant’ the rocks. Hopefully, people who find the rocks will post a photo of it on social media using our hashtag and then re-hide the rock so we can see how far and wide our kindness spreads and the students and I can see the impact they are having. ”
Owens said the purpose of the Kindness Rocks Project is, “One message at just the right moment can change someone’s entire day, outlook, life.”
Owens wanted to show students how far and wide they could spread kindness and how something so simple as saying one nice thing can make a big impact, which she said is also a theme in the book, “Be Kind.”
“I would love to see how far our Kindness Rocks go throughout the community,” said Owens. “Hopefully, the rocks will put a smile on the finder’s face and encourage them to spread kindness as well.”