More than a dozen students who submitted artwork depicting their vision of kindness will be recognized during a special awards ceremony for the Kid’s Kindness Poster Competition next month, when their designs will become promotional posters for a broader yearlong 10,000 Acts of Kindness campaign.
More than 1,000 students from York County, Pennsylvania and beyond submitted entries for the poster competition, which tasked students with drawing or painting what kindness means to them, the York Dispatch reports.
The winners – first, second and third place finishers for high school, middle school, elementary school and pre-k/kindergarten categories, along with a few honorable mentions – will help promote York County’s 10,000 Acts of Kindness initiative, a year-long project that culminates with a 1.8 mile table in York City’s Penn Park next June.
The table will hold 10,000 spots for people nominated by community kindness ambassadors for exemplary action, and the group will join together for a multi-cultural festival, dinner and celebration in hopes of breaking a Guinness World Record.
“It’s a way to remember the 1969 York race riots in a positive way on its anniversary next year, recognize the progress that’s been made and look forward to more change, organizers said,” according to the Dispatch. “The poster competition marks the first in a series of projects to showcase student talents as the community counts down to the big celebration.”
Officials will present student poster winners with their framed artwork at a ceremony in York City on November 7, and all submissions will be on display at the city’s Marketview Arts throughout the month.
Ramona Kinard, pastor vice president of the York Black Ministers' Association, told the Dispatch the community-wide campaign is ultimately about taking action to help others, through kindness and compassion.
“We just want each individual to be kind to one another by doing an actual action,” she said. “Not just holding a door, but doing an actual action. Going out and cutting your neighbor’s lawn, helping an elderly person, helping a child.”
Both the 10,000 Acts of Kindness campaign and poster project are aimed at getting students focused on developing positive character virtues, something researchers at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture found parents desperately want.
“The overwhelming majority of American parents (96 percent) say ‘strong moral character’ is very important, if not essential, to their child’s future,” according to the Institute’s “Culture of American Families” report.
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation offers a wide range of resources for parents and educators to steer youngsters toward helping others, including “10 Kindness Week Ideas for Schools,” which offers daily opportunities for students to spread the love.
And while many of the activities are geared toward the foundation’s Random Acts of Kindness Week each February, nearly all involve little ways that work well to promote kind acts throughout the year.