The Kindness Rock Garden near the fountain in Canada 150 Square in Capstone will soon have a few more colourful rocks to make people smile.
SPARC Red Deer held a kindness rock painting session for children and youth on Wednesday at Don Campbell School as part of the City of Red Deer’s Meet Me at the Park program.
SPARC partnered with Capstone a few years ago to start the rock garden beside the Riverwalk where Red Deerians can add rocks they painted and decorated with kindness messages.
“We encourage people to paint a kindness rock and leave it there, and if they want one they can take one,” said SPARC co-chair Rania Page.
Kindness rocks are part of SPARC’s Paint the Town Positive initiative that began in 2019 to support youth doing kind acts and giving back.
When the pandemic struck, SPARC reached out to some schools to continue the initiative, and the number of participating schools has since grown.
“We have many Paint the Town Positive groups within those schools and SPARC gives them ideas, projects and materials and they make it happen with their students.”
SPARC (Strengthening Positive Assets and Resiliency in Communities) originally received funding from the Love of Children Golf Tournament, and since then has applied and received funding from Alberta Health Services. People can also donate online through a new link at www.sparcreddeer.ca.
Page said SPARC promotes activities that focus on nurturing 40 social skills, behaviours and connections, known as developmental assets, that help young people grow up to be healthy, caring and responsible.
She said parents may already do activities with their children that foster positive developmental growth. SPARC wants to celebrate their efforts and pass on information so parents can explore more ways to help their children.
Meet Me at the Park program was developed to bring community members together by offering informal and unstructured recreational opportunities that support physical activity, creativity, and social connection.
The program will rotate to different city parks throughout the summer, and runs Monday to Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Meet Me at the Park’s schedule is available at www.reddeer.ca.