A yearlong project came to fruition for third grade students in Coon Rapids on Tuesday, June 4, when they presented projects at the school’s first Kindness Fair.

The 24 students in Susan Elliot’s classroom at Eisenhower Elementary in Coon Rapids held a project expo for parents and school staff showcasing their commitment to spreading kindness to all places during the school year.

Janae Bower, parent of one of Elliot’s students, collaborated with the class to build on the school’s theme for the year, “Be A Light.”

Each month from November to May, the class learned about a new area of showing kindness: self, classmates, school, family, neighbors, community and the world. The students were assigned to small groups to create a poster project for one of the branches of kindness.

The Kindness Fair displayed the students’ colorful posters and pictures, explaining each branch of kindness they learned about. Photos set next to the art pictured kids participating in service projects, such as Feed My Starving Children and handing out May Day goody bags.

Third-grader Garrett was dressed in suit and tie next to his presentation table, eager to share what he learned about kindness and how much he came to enjoy the project.

“At first, I didn’t really know if I’d like my group, but at the end, I loved it,” he said.

Covering the walls were handwritten notes classmates had created for each other throughout the school year, a sign to Elliot and Bower that the project made a difference in the kids’ lives.

“The kids cared about it a lot,” Bower said. “We could tell they were willing to help each other if someone got down as the year went along.”

While trifold posters were displayed throughout the classroom, a music video starring the class played on a projector screen. The video revolved around the theme of being a light. Copies of a book students wrote together on the same topic were available to read.

In addition to parents and families attending the Kindness Fair, teachers from surrounding classrooms stopped by to experience the festivities and hopefully spark inspiration for another Kindness Fair next year, one that Elliot plans to help out with again.

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