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Westport Parents Transform Sidewalk With Chalk Messages Of Kindness

Parent Brieana Kennedy draws "smiles are fun to share," at Kings Highway Elementary School on Friday, Oct. 17, as a part of the Kindness in Chalk movement.
Parent Brieana Kennedy draws "smiles are fun to share," at Kings Highway Elementary School on Friday, Oct. 17, as a part of the Kindness in Chalk movement. Photo Credit: Salvatore Trifilio
Colorful messages adorn the sidewalk outside Kings Highway Elementary in Westport as part of the Kindness in Chalk movement.
Colorful messages adorn the sidewalk outside Kings Highway Elementary in Westport as part of the Kindness in Chalk movement. Photo Credit: Salvatore Trifilio
Kids step across the color messages as they are dismissed from Kings Highway Elementary School in Westport on Friday.
Kids step across the color messages as they are dismissed from Kings Highway Elementary School in Westport on Friday. Photo Credit: Salvatore Trifilio
Parents get to work creating colorful messages for their kids at Kings Highway Elementary School in Westport.
Parents get to work creating colorful messages for their kids at Kings Highway Elementary School in Westport. Photo Credit: Salvatore Trifilio
Kids step across the messages as they are dismissed from school on Friday.
Kids step across the messages as they are dismissed from school on Friday. Photo Credit: Salvatore Trifilio

WESTPORT, Conn. -- As students were dismissed from Kings Highway Elementary School in Westport, they were greeted by a sidewalk that had been transformed by kind, colorful messages left in chalk.

A group of parents, headed by Christie Stanger, decorated the sidewalks in front and in back of the school at 125 Post Road West on Friday in colorful chalk as a part of the Kindness in Chalk movement.

"I think that after a long week, everyone is a little fried, so coming out of school to see all of these positive messages is great," said Stanger. "Also, knowing your whole community is behind you is important to doing well in school."

The movement was started by Minnesota mom Nikki Brunner as a way for her to get parents involved in October's Anti-Bullying Month. Her event took place on Oct. 10.

While the movement's origins lie in an anti-bullying message, Stanger believes that is not all we should take away from the chalk-covered sidewalks in Westport.

"We don't need to do this just because of anti-bullying month," said Stanger, "We need to do this to show we believe in the goodness of children.

"Just be a good person, because you're a good person."

Although Stanger said she does believe in anti-bullying campaigns, she also believes Kindness in Chalk doesn't need to be tied to the negativity that surrounds bullying to send a positive message to her fourth grade daughter and her classmates.

Brieana Kennedy, one of the dozen of parents who participated in the Friday, Oct. 17 event, said she got involved as another way of showing random acts of kindness, something she and her daughter bond over.

"My daughter and I are really big into random acts of kindness," said Kennedy. "We leave messages like these on car windshields at hospitals to remind people of the good things."

Brunner's blog encourages parents nationwide to bring the Kindness in Chalk movement to their school by sending a letter or approaching their child's principal.

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