At the beginning of the year each Lower School student was given a stone to paint and asked to design it in a way that represents him or herself.
Inspiration was provided by a story Lower School teachers read to their classes called Only One You by Linda Kranz. The story is about a fish who is preparing to swim out into the big ocean.
The fish’s parents give advice that can be applicable to kids of all ages:
- Always be on the lookout for a new friend.
- Look for beauty wherever you are.
- Blend in when you need to, but stand out when you have the chance.
- Find your own way – you don’t always have to follow.
- Know when to speak and when to listen.
- No matter how you look at it, there’s always something to appreciate.
- If you take a wrong turn, circle back.
- If something is in the way, move around it.
- Appreciate art.
- There’s only one you in this world – make it a better place.
Teachers talked with the students about how this advice might be acted upon in a classroom or school setting.
This story really resonated with my students at the beginning of a new year.
These are important messages that underscore lessons students will learn throughout the year about the role that individuals play in any community, the need to play an active role, to be welcoming, to appreciate what makes each of us important and unique while at the same time realizing our need for community.
Fourth grade teacher Kelly Eastin said, "This story really resonated with my students at the beginning of a new year. I loved seeing how different quotes spoke to the different personalities in my classroom. This was a great way to get to know one another, and to validate our own feelings about ourselves."
Her students also made videos about their rocks.
Here is one of them, by Lova '26.
The painted rocks will be placed along the brick wall in the crepe myrtle grove outside of the entrance to the Lower School where they can remind us all of the important lessons the story shared and provide a point of reference throughout the year.