Walkersville Elementary Students Share Kindness Rocks Because Kindness Is Cool!
by Maddie Hommey
On Thursday, April 13th, Walkersville Elementary School fourth and fifth graders who are members of the Walkersville is Kind (WIK) club came to WHS to leave their kindness rocks in a WHS garden.
The Kindness Rocks Project is a national project which inspires others along the way with randomly placed rocks and recruits all who stumble upon them to join in on inspiring others with random acts of kindness. These rocks are decorated in different ways and have inspirational words and messages written on them. On http://thekindnessrocksproject.com/, you can view places where others have left rocks and pin your own, so the WES club plans to do just that.
WIK used rocks donated to them by Frederick Brick Works. So, as well as leaving rocks at WHS and their school, they also took some to Frederick Brick Works as a thank you. The kindness rocks here at WHS can be found in the garden with the lion statue by the staff parking lot. “I really liked doing this project because it shows people we care about kindness and they should too when they see them” shared fourth grader Tyler Shuler.
This is a pilot year for the WES WIK club which began in January 2017. The club is run by intervention teacher Adele Gupta and specialist Angela Brown. They began with nominations from fifth grade teachers for students who exemplify kindness in their actions and words. Eventually, fourth grade nominations began and more interest was gained. Some students have since asked to join which they are often able to after Gupta talks to their teachers for recommendation. “I noticed we have a lot of kids who want to be recognized and want to do good” said Gupta.
The Walkersville is Kind club’s mission is: To make Walkersville Elementary a kinder place. To work together to spread kindness to those around us through our actions, words, and thoughts. To make kindness contagious.
WIK follows the motto that Kindness is Cool! They also have a club song, “Nothing More” by the Alternate Routes. All of the students in this club are more than excited to be a part of it.
The Walkersville is Kind club meets weekly with weekly missions and projects. Fifth grader Madeline Toms said, “We meet every Friday morning in the art room before school which is really fun and I like starting my day happy and feeling good.”
Some of their projects include good morning cards, pencil kindness bombs, kindness desk tent bombs, origami dog kindness bombs, and teacher kindness lollipop flowers. The idea behind each of these projects is to inspire and share their kindness with others.
Additionally, May is Kindness Month. The Walkersville is Kind club will continue many projects to spread kindness. “We’re going to have badges for teachers and then at the end of the week they will pick a student who has shown kindness to get the badge so it’s really cool because it gives us a chance to win it. Students will like being able to work towards the kindness badge. We’re also making posters to hang in places that lots of students go and that’ll be really fun,” said fourth grader Kiera Hall.
The biggest project occurring in May will be WIK’s kindness paper link chains. Each time that a student shows kindness, a link will be added to the chain in their classroom. On June 2nd, the elementary school will take the chains from each classroom and connect them to see how long the chain is. The students of the club and school are as excited for this project as they were for their kindness rocks.
Junior Keren Ott, the face behind Walkersville High school’s Random Acts of Kindness week was there to talk with members of the Walkersville is Kind club when they brought their kindness rocks to WHS. “The idea behind our Random Acts of Kindness week was to promote pride and make the school a better place” Ott said. So, it was very fitting that WIK has the same goal.
The Random Acts of Kindness week at Walkersville High featured a set of videos for the act of kindness on that particular day. Some of the days included giving compliments, high fives, or fist pumps. Ott felt that “everyone was more aware that something so small can impact someone’s day. I think that I made a difference by doing this.”
These Walkersville Elementary students want to continue to make a difference. In order to do so, students have expressed their interest in taking WIK to middle school and maybe even high school.
Furthermore, next year the club will elect officers from the current fourth graders to take on more of a leadership role. With the development of the Walkersville is Kind club, there is no doubt that they will continue to inspire kindness among their school, community, and beyond.