Local students use rocks to raise awareness during bullying prevention month

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NORTH JACKSON, Ohio (WKBN) – This month, schools across the country are raising awareness about National Bullying Prevention Month.

Students at Jackson-Milton Elementary School are working to stop bullying through a unique art project.

The inspiration behind the project came from a book, “Only One You.” Everyone in the school, teachers included, read the book.

Throughout the book, illustrations of fish painted on rocks represent the wisdom learned as you “swim through life.”

So, students and teachers painted rocks that look like fish — just as the book illustrates.

“The kids noticed that the rocks had different patterns and different colors, and that each rock was painted differently,” said Dianne Householder, Jackson-Milton’s art teacher.

The goal of the project is to teach students that being different is OK, just like the different fish in the book.

“It embraces kids’ individuality and creativity, and it’s about all of us just swimming together as a whole school … Kids this age need to know that they belong somewhere and that they belong to a bigger group,” said Christine Ginnis, the school’s guidance counselor.

“The theme is ‘there’s only one you.’ Even if you are a twin, you can be unique in your own way … I kind of did my pattern based on a Zinnia flower and I kind of did this because I really like art a lot,” said Paisley Dedonato, a sixth-grader.

Other students, like Brandon Hinkle and Ava Darney, painted their rocks based on instruments they play and colors that pop.

“It’s not just an art lesson, it has an actual meaning to it,” Darney said.

Once all the students are finished, they plan to put a protective seal on the rocks and display them outside the school. Then, as each new class of kindergarten students comes each school year, they will paint their own rocks to add to the display.

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