PACE — If you find a painted rock with the message, “You’re loved” on it, an S.S. Dixon Primary student likely left it there.
Kindness Rocks is a Dignity Health-sponsored community-building project that’s part of Kids for Peace’s global campaign.
“The idea is to spread kindness through the community. Like ripples on water, kindness can grow,” S.S. Dixon art teacher Janie Seal said.
Written on the back of the rocks are students’ names and the year, and on the colored side, a decoration with an uplifting message.
“Don’t bully,” “Share” and “Be kind,” Seal said, are some of the messages that students put on their rocks.
“They’re not supposed to keep them. They can leave them at karate practice, at church, Benny Russell Park,” Seal said. “Today a student said she left her (rock with a heart painted on it) by the Touch of Love Daycare — hoping someone would find it.”
The rocks are a call to action, according to Seal. Whoever finds one of these rocks should do a kind deed for someone, then give the rock to that person and encourage him or her to pass it along — and pay it forward.
So, how did all of this come about?
Well, S.S. Dixon guidance counselor Stacey Price brought the idea to the school after hearing about it in media and getting a $1,000 grant for the rocks, paint and books on kindness.
Students received an acts-of-kindness checklist The Great Kindness Challenge.com created. The 50-item list included ideas like smiling at 25 people, saying thanks to a police officer or lifeguard or donating something to an animal shelter.
Students paint the rocks with Seal and take part in kindness lessons with Price. With Price, students take turns giving each other compliments in front of the class.
Now, the challenge to be kind extends to the public.