Bringing kindness one chalk at a time


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On Saturday Oct. 2, the Owatonna High School received an exterior makeover.  This movement, called  Kindness in Chalk , started as a campaign which was sparked by the drawings of a young girl on the sidewalk.  Her mother wrote, “Have a happy day!” beside her daughter’s drawing.  The smiles on the faces of those passing by gave the inspiration to the little girl’s mother for an idea that would turn into something so much more.  Now Kindness in Chalk is a movement to fight bullying with kind words during October.  Just as it started with one mom and chalk, it continued in Owatonna that way as well.  

According to, “In the United States about one in four students say that they have been bullied at school.” Bullying can happen anywhere whether it be on the phone, in person, with a group, direct, or indirect.  It affects those who are bullied in a variety of different ways.  Bullying can cause many physical, mental, school, and social issues.  It should be known that acts of bullying can fall into criminal charges under harassment, hazing, or assault.  Many different strategies have been set in place in school systems to prevent bullying, but there is no single clear solution.  With Kindness in Chalk hopefully the event caused some unity between students at OHS and was able to brighten everyone’s day even if it was only a little bit.

It’s appreciating the little things in life, and those things make your day a little brighter.”

— Junior Grace Pick

Kindness in Chalk came to the Owatonna High School to unite students and staff.  Special education teacher Mrs. Beth Fink and other school staff wrote uplifting quotes around the school in chalk as a part of an anti-bullying movement. Fink said, “A girl who I went to college with, her sister is the one who started it.  Last year I saw it on Facebook and didn’t really do much with it because I was busy, but it was posted again this year and so I decided it would be something fun to do,” said Fink.  With October being National Bullying Prevention month, Fink also said, “It’s knowing that we’re the ones that can make student’s days that makes it cool. If students come in with a positive attitude it will rub off on other people, so if we can start their day with something that makes them feel good it will spread throughout the whole school.”  When you spread kind words to others, others will spread kind words too.

According to Medical Daily, “We’ve been able to find scientific proof that a person performs better when they receive a social reward.” By bringing in kind words to Owatonna High School, Fink was able to help students perform better without them realizing it. “I thought it was awesome!  It’s appreciating the little things in life, and those things make your day a little brighter,” said Junior Grace Pick.  While Fink’s work was no small feat, she said, “It took a few hours, but it was appreciated and did pay off.”  After the success of the first Kindness in Chalk event, it will be exciting to see what happens next. Click here to see other samples of Kindness in Chalk Facebook.