This mural and statement are over the exit of our school's front door. As we reflect on the end of our school year I can't think of a simpler way to express my hopes for our students. Whether those students are our youngest or our oldest students, I am hopeful that each student chooses to, "Make a Difference" in their world--in our world.
Our school has worked with our community and parents to help teach our students that making a positive difference and being kind to each other helps create a rich learning environment for all students. That rich learning environment can, of course, be contagious.
Recently our student Reach Out And Respond, ROAR, team (Remember, our district's mascot is a wildcat. Note the cat theme!) has shown us how to make a difference, and we hope it becomes very contagious.
You should first know that our ROAR team consists of students from each grade and classroom, and their responsibility is to Reach Out And Respond. Under the direction of several staff members, the ROAR team has focused on spreading kindness in our school and community. A couple of the ROAR students painted kindness rocks, and then the rest of the ROAR team wanted to take the project to an even larger scale! A local business donated 1000 rocks for our school, and our district's maintenance department (yes, more unsung heroes) delivered them to us. After great leadership from our art teacher and work from every student in the school, we now have a collection of Kindness Rocks ready to go.
Sometimes, however, the story of a project is best told through the words of our students. The following script was shared by our ROAR team at a recent all-school assembly.
Hello, we are all members of the ROAR Team this year. ROAR stands for:
- R is for Reach
- O stands for Out
- A stands for And
- R is for Respond
We RESPOND to what you’d like to do to help those around us. It’s called giving service. We are a group of students who represent YOU!
As we thought about a project we could do as a school this spring, we wanted our Novi Woods kindness to be felt not just among us, but to our community and even beyond.
Our Random Acts of Kindness Week -- RAK Week-- in February got us thinking about KINDNESS and ways we can spread kindness.
It was this thinking that motivated us to organize a school-wide project of KINDNESS ROCKS.
Right away, we knew we were going to need A LOT, I mean A LOT of rocks. We got right to work.
The HOME DEPOT generously donated 1,000 rocks, YES, 1,000.
We brainstormed over 100 motivational sayings.
Then, with the help of Mrs. Allen’s artistic guidance, we painted and then wrote an inspiring message on every rock.
Thanks, Mrs. Allen!
Each one of you made two rocks. One rock will be placed around our school and you will take the other rock and place it in a spot in our community.
Perhaps you choose the public library
Or your favorite restaurant
Or a business
Even a baseball field
Then someone can pick up that rock and place it in a new spot, reading the message and being inspired.
On the back of each rock, we will place a hashtag: #NoviWoodsROCKS. As these rocks travel from Novi to other communities, other states, and we hope even other countries, we will be able to hear about it on Twitter.
To finish the assembly, the ROAR team shared this brief movie.
Our #NoviWoodsRocks paw print was placed today by students and staff.
Yes, I suppose we could see these rocks as just pretty rocks. I choose, however, to see these rocks as symbols of all that our students will do in their lives and in our world to make a difference!
We are indebted to the kindess rocks project, and we are very excited to have your help to, "Make a Difference!"