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Students take part in Great Kindness Challenge

Students take part in Great Kindness Challenge

This is National School Counseling week and we celebrate with a Santa Rosa school counselor who is teaching a lesson with a "rock." It's one her littlest angels are very eager to share.

Stacey Price, Dixon Primary School Counselor said, "It's my mission to make these children better people all around."

On that mission, Price brought the national Great Kindness Challenge to Dixon Primary School. These kindergarten through second grade students learned very quickly that Kindness Rocks.

"Finding a rock, painting it and writing a message on there and decorating it with paint pens. Something inspiring; something just simple that will bring joy and a smile to someone's face who finds it."

It may be a simple word like "love" for a kindergartner or touching phrases from the older children. They put a lot of thought into this project and the messages they want to share.

Jackson Ryan, a second grader said, "I wrote, 'Be a good friend' to inspire kids to be kind and happy to each other."

Price always challenges the children to look for something nice to say.

"If you like their shirt, if you like someone's haircut; I go through all of these examples with them about how much they can help someone by noticing the good in them and saying it," Price said.

The students give the rocks to someone directly or they leave them around the school grounds or throughout the community for a stranger to find. These little ladies found a rock on the playground.

The three knew just where that rock was going. " We agreed to give it to her. Her? Who's her? You."

"You" is their reading coach, Toni Ann Guadagnoli. "But, they said, "You can't keep it, Ms. G. You have to pass it on." I happened to be going out to eat at the Fish House that night so I brought the rock with me and I left it on a bench right outside the restaurant."

The girls were thrilled. "They'll be excited. They'll be happy. They'll be nice. And they'll pass it on and be kind."

Along with the rocks, students are given a long list of ways they can meet the Great Kindness Challenge. Jackson is making his way through that list. "Smile at 25 people. Take a treat to your local firefighters. Do a household chore without being asked. Pick up trash in your neighborhood."

Price beams with pride over what these children are doing. "I would love for the kindness starting here with kindergarten, second grade to advance as they grow and mature into older adults".

From the looks of things, Jackson and the other 700-plus students are going to do their part. "Makes our community better and if you do little things, it can make big changes."

Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by the Studer Family Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart.

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