At the start of the 2022-23 school year, I noticed a garden area in the front of the school that could use a little beautifying. The primary reason it stuck out to me was that it didn’t match the amazing staff and work going on inside the building.
Figuring that it could use an artist’s touch, I enlisted the help of Berkeley’s art teacher, Ms. Stroman, who joyfully embraced the challenge. Thus, the RMP Kindness Rock Project began.
Ms. Stroman created a curriculum featuring environmental artists, which would include students in all aspects of the design and execution. Staff, parents, and students bonded through gardening as they cleared weeds and cleaned up the area. After the fifth grade ideated the overall design, students in all grades brought rocks from home, which they carefully designed and added to the space.
Over Thanksgiving, Ms. Stroman dedicated her free time to laying the final touches, implementing a wow factor for everyone to return to after break. I personally witnessed students finding and showing off their rock to their families with pride. Ms. Stroman ignited a passion for art across grades, poured herself into her school, and created a safe space within her classroom.
At a time where teachers are resigning at alarming amounts, RMP continues to shine through adversity and elevate the learning experience through embodiment of the PEAK Values: Perseverance, Excellence, Adventure, and Kindness. As a parent, the opportunity to partner with a teacher and see a project far surpass expectations is an amazing thing.
We encourage you to come admire the beautiful project and messages Ms. Stroman and our students have created — spreading kindness and hope not only to each other, but the surrounding community.