Kindness Rocks in Port Jeff Schools!

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The idea that one kind message can change a person’s life was the inspiration that two Port Jefferson educators put into place to encourage a districtwide embrace of the worldwide Kindness Rocks Project.

Special education teachers Paige Lohmann and Jeanette Garofola received a grant from the Port Jefferson Royal Educational Foundation to host Kindness Rocks Project founder Megan Murphy to share her story about the power of kindness and positivity, and how a simple gesture of designing and writing encouraging messages on rocks can have a lasting effect on someone.

“The idea resonated when I see how stressful at times it can be being a kid these days,” Ms. Lohmann said. “Their academic, social and emotional well-being is so fragile. It’s important for children to support each other, and sometimes the thought is there but they don’t know how to articulate it.”

The Kindness Rocks Project offered a solution. The rocks have become a simple and creative way to show students a way of being kind and to think of others, especially during adolescent years when academic and social pressures intensify. The first weeks of school have been inspiring all around – even parents got into the fun when, during Port Jefferson Middle School’s Open House night, they left messages of gratitude, encouragement and affirmations for their children to find when they returned to school the next morning. Plans are ongoing in both Edna Louise Spear Elementary School and the middle school to create a rock garden in the springtime where students can leave or take a rock when they need one the most.

“With the generosity of the Royal Educational Foundation and the thoughtful leadership of these two teachers for bringing this worthy project to our district, we can continue to promote and strengthen a positive school culture,” Port Jefferson Middle School Principal Dr. Robert Neidig said.