Return to Headlines

East Elementary Kindergarteners ROCK!

April 17, 2017
East Elementary Kindergarteners ROCK!
By Noelle H. Lowery

Kindergarteners in Melissa Griffin’s East Elementary classroom have left their mark around Kodiak Island — literally.

Recently, Griffin’s students participated in the Kodiak Island Rocks campaign “to decorate rocks and hide them in various locations to brighten someone's day.” The Kodiak effort found inspiration from Skagit County Rocks!, which along with nearly 20,000 people from across the U.S. and seven other countries, participate in “The Kindness Rocks Project.”

“The basic idea is people all over Kodiak from 1-100 are painting rocks and placing them on trails to be found,” explains Griffin. “You can keep the rock or rehide it too brighten someone's day. East Kinder painted and hid rocks for people to find.”

Founded by Cape Cod resident Megan Murphy, “The Kindness Rocks Project” was created to spread inspiration and motivation for unsuspecting recipients through random inspirational rocks dropped along the way. Murphy’s own life experiences influenced the development of the project.

“Living near the ocean, I walk the beach daily,” Murphy writes on “The beach is where many go when they seek insight or a peaceful place to think…Losing my parents at a young age meant losing my advisers, my sounding board and my role models.  During difficult or stressful moments in my life, I found myself looking for ‘signs’ on my morning walk, such as a heart shaped rock or a piece of sea glass. I perceived this ‘sign’ as a divine message or the random inspiration I needed to signify that things would be okay.”

She also thought that she “wasn’t the only one looking for such signs,” so she began painting, decorating and dropping a few rocks at a time while out and about. Amazingly, she began receiving messages from those who found the rocks, thanking her for the message she was spreading. Add in social media and a web site, and Murphy’s hobby quickly turned into a national and international movement filled with inspirational rock gardens around the world, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland, Thailand, Haiti, Italy and England.

Ultimately, there are two goals. First, inspiring others through randomly placing rocks along the way, and second, recruiting every person who stumbles upon a rock to join in the pursuit of inspiring others through random acts of kindness. 

In Kodiak, the movement has exploded. The Kodiak Island Rocks FaceBook Page boasts more than 2000 members, and one visit to the page demonstrates the amazing community of kindness activists and artists who live in Kodiak, including Griffin’s East Elementary Kindergarteners.

Want to participate? Decorate a rock with paint, spray paint, chalk or Sharpie markers, and seal and protect the art work with a non-toxic clear coat, such as Modge Podge or a clear acrylic spray. Then head out into the great outdoors of Kodiak, and place your pieces of inspiration and kindness along any one of the island’s many hiking and walking trails for someone to find. Make sure to post your rocks and those you find on FaceBook, Instagram or Twitter.

Who knows maybe you will be lucky enough to find one of the rocks made by Griffin’s students!