A local school is trying to spread acts of kindness through art.
P.S. 204 Vince Lombardi, 8101 15th Ave., has created a kindness garden, a project that began before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down in-class learning last year.
Each student read the book “Only One You” by Linda Kranz and was asked to paint a river rock to reflect what inspired them to be kind.
Before the shutdown, the kids were supposed to take the rocks outside to spray and seal them and build the garden. They were finally able to complete the project in May.
Inspired by groups such as Bay Ridge Rocks and the recently created Sunset Park Rocks, the kids painted each rock with positive messages and designs.
Ashley Faicco, an executive board member of the school’s PTA, said the garden is really special.
“At this time when so many students are learning remotely and people are not gathering as they are used to, it’s nice to see something a little different,” Faicco said. “Not only does the garden brighten up the lawn of the school, but it makes anyone who sees it stop, look and have a conversation.”
Some of the kids painted bees on their rocks in honor of the school’s mascot, while others wrote words such as “kindness” and “love.”
“The students still in the school get to see their artwork on display every day,” Faicco said. “For the students that have graduated or are graduating, they get to come back years from now and can say, ‘I remember doing that, I have a rock in there.’”
Although it was a challenge to complete it due to the pandemic, Faicco said PTA President Melissa Scarpaci knew this was something they had to finish.
“Luckily, the administration had just as much desire to get it done as we did and worked with us to help make it happen,” she said. “Our hope is that it becomes a tradition. I would love nothing more than to see the garden continue to grow each year with the new students in the building.”