Painted rocks bring cheer to Kew-Forest doorstep

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The Kew-Forest School Class of 2020 may not be able to walk across the stage in a traditional graduation ceremony, but the neighborhood is making sure that the occasion does not go unmarked.

Over the last few weeks, “kindness rocks” have been appearing in front of the school’s main entrance, bringing words of inspiration for students, as well as celebratory notes for this year’s graduating class.

“These painted rocks, with uplifting and congratulatory messages, perfectly represent who we are as a school,” said Head of School Carla Jantos MacMullen. “They serve as a reminder of the strength of our community and how much we miss being together in person during these challenging times.”

The gesture aligns with a national movement called the Kindness Rocks Project, which encourages people to leave rocks painted with uplifting sentiments “along the path of life.”

In April, a similar collection of colorful rocks made its way to Forest Hills, accumulating on the steps and walkway of a brick colonial at Ascan Avenue and Ingram Street.

The decorative stones formed an impromptu display of New York-themed images, messages of support, and thank you’s to essential workers.

MacMullen says that community engagement and developing students’ unique voices is an important part of the Kew-Forest mission, which is now being interpreted from outside of the building in light of COVID-19.

“The creativity of these messages during this pandemic is a reflection of how our students find ways to share their messages no matter what the circumstances,” she explained.


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