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Canton Charter Academy’s Beautiful New Kindness Rock Garden

Julie Bengtsson, a paraprofessional at Canton Charter Academy (CCA), worked on a fun and special project over the summer – a kindness rock garden.
“This has been a passion of mine and I am so excited to bring it to CCA,” said Bengtsson. “After spending the summer collecting rocks for our student population, fixing the hardscape outside the school entrance, and creating a sign, I am excited to get this going!”
Bengtsson is the artist of the original rocks that started the garden as well. “It has warmed my heart to watch students choose a rock that inspires them,” she said.

Before the school year started, Bengtsson provided a professional development (PD) session to explain what a kindness rock garden is and to get the staff interested. She also has a slide show of the book, “Scribble Stones,” for students to watch before painting their own stones.
The idea is for all classroom teachers (K-8) to participate in a Moral Focus-based rock painting opportunity. The sixth-grade classes were the first to sign up and have already painted their rocks. They are pictured in the two photos with the rocks on brown paper. After the rocks are painted, Bengstsson seals them to weather proof them. Then the students placed them into the garden wherever they wanted.
“It warms my heart to watch the teachers and students embrace the joy of putting kindness into the world,” said Bengstsson. “Sixth-grade teacher Mrs. Bowers had great feedback about how her students enjoyed painting their rocks.”
CCA Kindness Garden Sign Message
Take One! If it inspires you or makes you smile!
Share One! For motivation and to spread joy!
Leave One! To help our garden grow!
“Be the reason someone smiles.”