Lincoln project spreads kindness

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Lincoln project spreads kindness
Student creating kindness cards

Lincoln Elementary School students are learning that a little drop of kindness can create a ripple effect and brighten their entire school -- and community.


Students in fourth and fifth grades recently began a kindness cards project. They each decorate index cards with inspirational messages and fun, colorful designs. Students come up with the slogans for the cards on their own and they get creative. The cards are then distributed throughout the school both randomly and intentionally.


“Kids really jumped at this opportunity,” said teacher Michael Stine. “They developed their own affirmations, and paired those with beautiful illustrations. I'm seeing a high level of quality and care, as they realize that they have a public audience and can really change someone's day – or life, as the book points out.”


Almost every card’s message is unique. Some examples from a recent collection included: Peace with Imperfection, You Make the World Sparkle, Kindness is Evergreen, Your Life is Singing a Beautiful Song, and Creating You was Life’s Grape Idea (featured along with a drawing of grapes).


The project was inspired by a book called “Flight of the Puffin,” by Ann Braden in which the main characters begin writing notes of encouragement and leaving them all over town.


“Our students have started by anonymously placing cards with beautiful, inspiring messages around the school to uplift our school community,” said teacher Michelle Dinkins. “We are now brainstorming with our classes what places in the community we can send messages to and hope to spread kindness throughout Olympia. Our kiddos are pretty amazing! This ‘kindness project’ is our community service project for the next few months.”


Students working on the project during class last week were gleeful as they shared thoughts about their work and its impact.


“The person who gets the card knows that they are kind and different and amazing in their own way,” said fifth grader Hazel Ulvenes. “I think it’s really great because sometimes the littlest things can bring somebody out of a bad day.”


“I think maybe it could uplift their spirit a lot and they feel like they can have fun, they believe in themselves, they can be kind to others and they can be great,” Ulvenes added. “If I got something like this I would probably feel like I’m pretty special and like I must be important.”


The kindness cards are a win for everybody, said fifth grader Harper Jurss. “I think it’s a really cool thing to do because it’s art so you get to express yourself through the art and also make someone else happy. It’s really sweet and it’s fun to do.”


So far, students have distributed the cards throughout the school to both younger peers and staff members. They will soon begin brainstorming a list of local organizations that might benefit from receiving a package of cards to share to brighten someone’s day.