Late last month Miss Vanessa Lechler’s 7th-period class put a 7-foot tall paper tree up on the wall of the cafeteria. The leaves are made of hearts and have positive sayings or drawings on each one.
Lechler came up with the idea during Christmas break and could not wait to get started.
Lechler went to Mr. Daniel Taormina with the idea and he suggested the blank wall in the cafeteria. This is one of the few places that all students and most teachers go to at least once a day and as such could be seen by almost everyone.
The Kindness Tree was put up now, rather than earlier because February 17 is National Kindness Day. Lechler decided to use the tree to make National Kindness Day last all month.
Miss Holley Fuller decided to help with the tree by dedicating a whole day for her ceramics students to make hearts for the tree, some students making more than one. She participated in the Kindness Tree because “[it’s] really great for students to see and participate [in] and it is nice to make something for someone else.”
The Tree is a simple idea with a big impact; students come in asking both Fuller and Lechler for more hearts to put on the tree.
The student participation began with the art students and spread to anyone who wanted to spread a little kindness to other students. Lechler says that approximately 400 students made hearts, not including Fuller’s students.
Lechler said that “it was neat to see it grow [and it] keeps getting bigger and bigger,” also commenting that “it warms her heart.”
When asked if she thought that the Kindness Tree would have a lasting effect, Fuller said, “yes, I do [because] you never know what people are going through.”
Lechler and Fuller both wish to put up the tree again in future years, but this year, especially because so many people, need it this year.