Before visitors reach the door of Arbor Park Intermediate School, they're met with kindness at their feet.
Lining the trail to the Arbor Park entryway are “Kindness Rocks,” individually painted by the students and teachers of this Blair Community school.
Inspired by Only One You, a book encouraging students to celebrate uniqueness and to leave the world a better place, the rocks started as a way to extend the “Be Kind” message beyond the walls of the school and build a sense of community.
Art Specialist Stephanie Cattlett spearheaded the cross-curriculum, school-wide project where teachers and guidance specialists prepared lessons with the book prior to painting rocks. This very popular project, in many schools across the state, emphasizes and lifts individuality and the idea of embracing others.
“We painted the rocks over a three week period and held several ‘painting parties’ for teachers in my art room after school,” Cattlett shared when asked about the comradery this helped create for her school.
All students grades 3 – 5 and most of the teachers each created a unique design of a fish painted on a rock. The author and illustrator, Linda Kranz handprinted each fish in her book on a rock and the Arbor Park “rockfish” is inspired by the illustrations in her book.
The rocks, placed outside in the Junior Naturalist Club’s butterfly garden, will have a home here for many years to come.