New mural encourages students to be kind

New mural encourages students to be kind
Posted on 02/12/2016
Volunteers apply green grout to a mural in the entrance of Palo Verde

New mural encourages students to be kind

Staff Reports | Posted: Thursday, February 11, 2016 9:40 am

Kindness is the theme at Palo Verde Elementary School and a new mural reminds students to find ways to be nice to one another.

The new blue and green mural, installed on Feb. 4 and 5 near the school office, reads simply “Be Kind.”

The mural and its message are part of a larger effort promoted by Tucson-based nonprofit organization Ben’s Bells to spread kindness and motivate people to realize the impact of intentional kindness.

Ben’s Bells’ mission is to “inspire, educate and motivate people to realize the impact of intentional kindness and to empower individuals to act according to that awareness, thereby strengthening ourselves, our relationships and our communities.”

The organization runs several kindness-themed programs, including its Kind Campus program, which encourages all involved in a school, from the teachers and faculty to the students and their families, to create a culture of kindness.

More than 348 schools serving 192,007 students are enrolled in the Kind Campus program, said Amy Collinsworth, marketing and communications manager for Ben’s Bells.

Schools in the program feature a “Be Kind” mural and receive monthly materials and guides as well as kindness quotes, posters and other material.

There is no cost for a school to join the program.

Palo Verde Elementary School Principal Joanne Kramer said she saw the murals in other schools and wanted to bring the concept to Palo Verde Elementary School. Reminding the students to be kind to one another and encouraging simple acts of kindness can have a big impact on the atmosphere on campus, she said.

As well as enrolling the school in the Ben’s Bells campus program, she’s challenged the students to complete 5,000 acts of kindness throughout the school year.

Teachers are tasked with spotting random acts of kindness and thoughtfulness among the students. Those acts are noted, written out and hung on a wall.

Once the school reaches 5,000 acts of kindness, the notes will reach around the wall.

So far, the school is about half-way to its goal, Kramer said.

Kramer said the program has had a positive impact on the students. Kids are helping one another on the playground, assisting with cafeteria cleanup and helping teachers, she said.

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