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  • Writer's pictureThe Eagle

Being Kind Rocks!--New Project Spreads Joy in a Creative Way

Haley Cook showing off her FCHS rock. (Photo by Emma Duncan)

By Paige Ordway--Eagle Staff Writer

Throughout high school, staying positive can be a struggle. Having sources that can create that positive energy means a lot to students and faculty. This year, senior Haley Cook brought an idea to the SCA Executive Board to spread positivity in a creative way.

Cook's idea: a garden full of rocks with positive and uplifting messages.

“I came up with this idea during the summer of my sophomore year of high school. My intent was the project to be completed in the spring semester of my junior year (2021-2022 school year),” Cook explained.

Executive Board Sponsor Laura Bird and Cook met with campus principal Jon Crutchfield last spring and presented a PowerPoint to gain administrative approval for the project. They were given Tech courtyard as the rock garden's home.

The SCA Executive Board and Eagle Excellence met every Thursday during activity period, as well as outside of school, to paint rocks and work on the project.

If a student wants to encourage themselves or a peer, they can simply choose any rock from the garden and pay it forward. (Photo by Emma Duncan)

“I believe that the rock garden adds a little color into our school and seeing the people walk by and their faces light up and seeing the creativity on the rocks makes people really happy,” said junior Caroline Kelley, Eagle Excellence member.

To maximize the impact, Eagle Excellence and SCA wanted a location that would be readily visible to students and staff.

“Our intention was for it to be near major student movements throughout the day so everyone may get an opportunity through their high school career to see it, take a rock, or leave one,” Bird explained.

The concept of the Kindness Rock Garden is to take a rock, give a rock to someone, then paint one to put back in the garden to keep it in motion.

“The Rock Garden itself showcases our students' artistic abilities (or inabilities) and adds a positive vibe,” Bird shared “All the rocks are intended to offer a positive or uplifting message."

Both Executive Board and and Eagle Excellence have high hopes that this project will continue to have a positive outcome.

From left to right: (Top row) juniors Caroline Kelley and Olivia Chitwood, senior Emma Duncan, and sophomore Hannah Bird, (bottom row) senior Haley Cook, and sophomore Brooklyn Toney opened the rock garden on March 7. (Courtesy Photo)

“I do think this is going to last if we keep getting classes to join in and paint and it's a fun way to interact with our school,” Kelley commented.

Other students, like Hannah Bird, a sophomore in both Eagle Excellence and Executive Board, enjoy painting the rocks because they reportedly have the freedom to paint anything as long as it supports the garden.

“Our hope is that we will host 'rock painting' time after school that any student can join in. We had SCA and Eagle Excellence members as well as classes in our school contribute to our beginning rock collection,” Bird concluded.

Several classes came together before spring break to paint rocks, resupply the garden, and keep the project in motion. More rocks will continue to be added throughout the year.

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