N.S. teacher spreads kindness across the world with travelling rock project
Nova Scotia teacher Ginger LeBoutillier has started a travelling kindness rocks project, that has seen rocks distributed around the world.
Published Wednesday, January 6, 2016 5:43PM AST
A teacher in Nova Scotia's Hants County is leaving her mark on the world through a stone path. She's created a chain-giving project of decorated rocks.
Ginger LeBoutillier's travelling kindness rocks project began at the start of the school year. She was inspired by the beauty of Australian aboriginal art.
“I started asking staff, students, and the families here at the school to help me with the project, so it basically was a chain of giving,” says LeBoutillier.
LeBoutillier gets online requests from people around the world asking her to send a kindness rock to someone who needs support, or cheering up.
Once she's finished painting the rock (at no charge), a student, or staff member mails it as one act of kindness follows another.
“Part of the project too, is documenting the rocks before they go,” says LeBoutillier. “So we take pictures and post them on social media.”
Five months after its conception, the project keeps rolling along with nearly 200 rocks sent around the world to places like Mexico, Argentina, and Mississippi. In each case, the postage is paid for by donations.
“I have one lady who is battling a form of cancer in England, who is currently writing her story and how it connects to the travelling kindness rocks,” says LeBoutillier.
Staff and students at Falmouth Elementary School say they enjoy taking part in the project. They've placed a map in the school’s main hallway so everyone can see where the rocks have travelled.
“My location of my office is right by the maps, so I get to see them come up, they grab the pins from me and I get to watch and see how they make those connections by looking at the atlas and trying to find the locations in the world,” says Kim Frank, Falmouth Elementary School principal.
Frank says she was delighted when LeBoutillier approached her about bringing the project into the school.
“It's really heartwarming to be able to watch them grow and understand the importance of that little act of kindness to a stranger and what that ripple effect might be,” says Frank.
LeBoutillier says her project isn’t showing signs of slowing down; she paints a dozen rocks a week.
“There's been times it's been quite emotional for me,” says LeBoutillier. “For them to realize people care and there's a reason to keep going, that's the reward for me.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Suzette Belliveau