This past May, 6th graders at the Penn Brook Elementary School in Georgetown created a Kindness Garden as their gift to the school. Youth and their families were invited to an evening event where they could paint rocks together that reflect the CARES values. Penn Brook Principal, Margaret Maher explained, “It will be a “growing garden,” as families can continue to add their own rocks.” This project created an opportunity to build the CARES values of Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibility, Empathy, Self-Control though youth and adults working together to create positive messages to share with their school and greater Georgetown community. It is a great way for the youth to give back and feel like they can leave a positive impact for returning students.
In addition to highlighting values, this project is a great example of how Georgetown is currently building Developmental Assets® for their youth. By creating a caring school climate, fostering creativity, supporting family involvement, promoting compassion, this project demonstrates how the Georgetown community truly values youth. This past year, Georgetown started a partnership with the Essex County Asset Builder Network to help create and expand supports and opportunities for youth in the community.