“Take one for motivation. Leave one for inspiration. Kindness rocks.”
That’s what the entrance to Kindness Island at Hamilton Elementary School in Moline reads.
First-grade student Graysyn Millage said, “Be yourself.”
The rock garden is a destination for young kids.
Graysyn said, “Kindness Island is to express yourselves and be kind.”
First-grade student Bella Barnett said, “Yeah.”
Two of the guides might be Graysyn and Bella.
Bella said, “If you pick up a rock, you might feel the expression and creativeness.”
A sea of pebbles and stones created by a Girl Scouts troop as a service project is making a lasting impression.
First-grade student Millie Cook said, “Making it look pretty. Nice for other people.”
It’s a place about teaching kids an invaluable lesson.
Parent Amber Bowers said, “I think it just goes back to that kindness is contagious.”
Amber Bowers worked with her girl scouts and the school to build a foundation that might start with just fun but blossoms into a way for them to inspire and feel inspired.
Bowers said, “You can almost see them filled with kindness and then they take that out on the rest of their day. It’s just a wonderful thing. It’s such a simple concept.”
The work developing the kindness island wrapped up just before the end of the last school year. Now with student back, he hope is for it to have a bigger impact.
“We continue to have community kind of rally around it. Bring rocks, come in have lunch, read books. So more kindness equals less sadness,” said Bowers.
It’s an ongoing mission involving these kids.
First-grade student Harlow Power said, “To make people be nice and kind to other people.”
Because whether the kids taking a rock home or decorate them for the garden, they make sure this common decency is bright and overflowing.
Bella said, “It was so cool to actually get to paint the rocks for Kindness Island.”
All to keep more visitors arriving because in this world who couldn’t use a bit more kindness.
Graysyn said, “Kindness Island is about filling people’s hearts with joy and love.”
There’s also a monthly Random Act of Kindness challenge post at Kindness Island.