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Woodland's colorful rocks spread a message of kindness

These Woodland Elementary “kindness rocks” will be placed randomly around Mansfield.

      So what can you do with a box of rocks? At Woodland Elementary School, the answer is simple: Spread colorful thoughts of kindness throughout Mansfield this week.

      The project is part of a Kindness Week concept developed three years ago by guidance counselor Taryn Nall after she heard a teacher remark that she wished students would be nicer to one another.   

      “Students were excited to paint and decorate the rocks with messages such as ‘Be kind,’ ‘You are special’ and ‘Take time to smile,’” Nall said. “Our teachers will spread them around Mansfield. Our hope is that people will pick them up, enjoy them, then leave them somewhere else for others.”

      The rocks, provided by Stone Creations, have “Woodland 2018” painted on the back.

      Woodland’s Kindness Week, which coincides with National Random Acts of Kindness Week, began Monday morning with an assembly in the gym where teachers wore bright pink T-shirts with “Kindness” printed in black across the front.

      “What can you do to be kind to others?” Principal Kim Johnson asked the 200 kindergarten through third-grade students seated cross-legged on the gym floor.

      Dozens of hands shot up.

      “Say kind words,” said one girl.

      “Like what?” Johnson asked.

      “Do you want to play with me?” answered a boy.

      “Wonderful!” Johnson said.

      Whenever a teacher or staff member notices a student showing kindness this week that child’s name will be posted on the school’s Kindness Wall. The same is true at Prospect Elementary, where Nall also serves as counselor.

      Woodland has a Kindness Week theme each day this week:

      Monday -- Give Someone a Compliment Day: Say something nice to someone.

      Tuesday -- Make A New Friend Day: Talk to someone you don’t know well.

      Wednesday -- Food Service Appreciation Day: Keep the cafeteria clean and tell the cafeteria staff thank you!

      Thursday -- Custodian Appreciation Day: Help keep the school clean and tell Miss Erin and Miss Abbey thank you!

      There is no school on Friday.

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