The brushstrokes of kindness are particularly visible at Wellton Elementary School – in actions, and in art.

Students in Jacqueline Lawson’s art class are working on a mural project that promotes kindness among the Bulldog community. The latest of eight installments dotting the campus, the mural started as an idea from Pinterest and evolved into a theme being spread across the school.

“If you’re going to be anything in the world, kindness is something we don’t have very much of,” Lawson said. “And kids need kindness.”

When Lawson and her seven painters finish the mural this week, they’ll paint marigolds to compliment one of the school’s original murals: “When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind,” quoted by the late self-help author and motivational speaker Wayne Dyer.

“It’s a permanent reminder for us of the power of kindness,” Lawson said. “I hope when our kids see it they’ll say, ‘I can do this because my teachers believe in me.’”

Her hope is that each student who catches a glimpse of the art in the schoolyard or en route to class will be inspired to guide their day with kindness.

In the three years she’s been promoting positivity through art projects, Lawson has seen her students exemplifying this trait in and out of the classroom. From eating lunch with students sitting alone in the cafeteria to helping teachers carry things and even clean, Lawson says her students really are the ‘I’ in ‘kind.’

“When you’re such a small, tight-knit community like we are, you have to care about each other and build each other up,” Lawson said. “It’s vital.”

Lawson said there are definitely plans for more in Wellton’s future – plans for more murals and plans for more school-wide efforts to share the gift of kindness with one another.

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