“Lincoln rocks,” that’s the message painted on the largest rock in the new Lincoln School rock garden located in a raised brick planter close to the entrance of the pre-kindergarten through second-grade school.
The other rocks or stones vary in shapes and sizes, but all have caring messages or drawings that pertain to being kind, caring, safe and respectful. Just like the school’s mascot, Sparkle Bear, wants the Lincoln School family to be.
In recent weeks, all of the children at the school and many staff members have decorated a rock with words and/or drawings, and the garden is slowly being peppered with them. The garden is intended to send the simple message that Lincoln School promotes kindness, caring and respect for others.
Visitors to the school are encouraged to write a kind message on a stone and leave it in the garden as they leave the school.
Lincoln School kindergarten teacher Martha Groot came up with the idea to fill the planter with Newark Central School District-colored maroon and gray rocks with kind messages and drawings on them.
Her son, Matt, and his special education class at Newark High School made a sign for the garden that reads, “Ripples of kindness make waves of change.”
Groot envisions the day when the garden will be filled with rocks. Meanwhile, she will keep spray-painting the rocks and stones this summer that children have donated so they will be ready for students and visitors to the school this fall to decorate and add new messages.
“We look forward to staff, students and families helping us fill the space with positive messages,” Principal Stephanie Miller said.