Kindness brightens the world, and Avon Early Learning Center students proved it.

Kindergarten Linda Jaros, along with art teacher Karoline Weir, facilitated a project to create a rockfish garden after Jaros took a course and was inspired by the book “Only One You” by Linda Kranz.

“Another school had done this particular project with the rock garden, so I thought that it would be really neat to do that as a culminating activity for the kids, since we’re teaching them kindness,” Jaros said. “I was really inspired by the positive messages in the book and the affirmations about being unique and your impact on the world and what you can do to make the world a better place.”

Jaros applied for a grant to receive funding for the project. Each student received a paperback of the book and each teacher received a hard copy book for their classroom. Along with the grant money, Jaros received donations from community members like Avon PTA, The Rock Pile and Brian-Kyles Landscapes of Distinction in Lorain.

Students were given river skips (flat stones) to paint and put in the garden. Messages like “Dream big,” “Believe in yourself,” Never give up” and “Enjoy every day” fill the rock garden, along with brightly painted rockfish.

The activity was supposed to be done last semester, but due to the pandemic they had to postpone it.

“I thought this project had even more meaning because the virtual students were able to participate,” Jaros said. “Some of the kids said this was the best day at school they ever had because they got to be creative and make their own special rock…”

The learning center has a kindness initiative that it promotes throughout its curriculum and everyday interactions with students. Jaros said she wants students to be proud of their uniqueness and look back on this activity as positive and inspirational.

Jaros said this project would have not been possible without the support of the AELC staff and members of the Avon community. The most rewarding part for her was seeing the children excited and happy to participate in a creative activity.

“Even though we’re one person, look what we can do together to make the world a better place,” Jaros said.

Contact this reporter at mheideman@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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