Kindness in Chalk arrives Oct. 2

Posted on: Sep 26, 2017

Kindness in Chalk arrives Oct. 2

A kind word can make a big difference in one’s outlook on life, so students and staff at Delano Public Schools are hoping that a unique new event will help foster a sense of well-being in the community at large.

Delano’s first “Kindness in Chalk” campaign will be held on Monday, Oct. 2.

During the morning students of all ages will, along with their teachers, take about an hour of time to visit designated areas around the community to write positive messages in chalk on the sidewalks.

“When individuals hear and see messages of kindness it changes their entire demeanor and attitude, even if only for a small portion of time,” said Shallyn Tordeur, alternative education instructor and School Within a School director for Delano. “So the whole purpose is to give everyone that moment of kindness and peace. When community members or students or people from other communities come into our community and walk the sidewalks they will see these messages displayed. It’s about bringing unity.”

The day isn’t just for students, either. Business owners and homeowners are encouraged to write their own messages on sidewalks or driveways to help spread the spirit of kindness even further. The Wright County Sheriff’s Office plans to participate, and a number of daycare groups, in addition to preschool and Tiger Kids Club members, will take part along with the older students.

“We want everybody to be a part of it. We’re not excluding anyone,” said Tordeur, who is part of the organizing committee of teachers and administrators. “Some businesses have asked us to send students down to use their sidewalk area. It would be great to have the people in the whole downtown area just take five minutes and write a message on their sidewalks. We encourage everyone around the community to take part and write something positive for people to see and be part of.”

Timing and area

The Oct. 2 date is timed to coincide with the beginning of National Bullying Awareness Month, and this is the first year that Delano will be participating in the Kindness in Chalk campaign. Roughly 20 other schools in Minnesota are planning to participate in the event, which originated in Minneapolis three years ago.

“This is a unique opportunity for the entire district to be involved in something at the same time, not just as an elementary or middle or high school,” said Tordeur. “In my 11 years here this is the first time we’ve done something like this district-wide.”

Delano students will essentially be covering the sidewalks around the perimeter of the school campus, including a line stretching down Elm Ave. past the Community Ed. building to River Street, and from there past the city park and up County Road 30 back to the campus. The target area for businesses and individuals, however, includes the entire town.

“Our hope is that if this goes well it becomes a tradition for our district and community,” said Tordeur.

* The school district has clarified with the city that there is no conflict with city code in regard to creating chalk messages on sidewalks.

* Parents of high school and middle school students will have an opportunity to write messages to students on a 16-foot chalkboard the same evening when they come to the school for conferences.

* For more information on Kindness in Chalk, see