Pupils spread kindness with random acts

February 09, 2003 11:00 pm

By SCOTT PESZNECKER

Escorted by a parent, a handful of third-graders marched into the saloon at the Murphys Hotel and waited to catch the bartender's attention.

When he approached, the students passed him a poster to hang behind the bar.

Third-grade students at Albert Michelson Elementary School kicked off Random Acts of Kindness Week on Friday by giving shopkeepers in downtown Murphys hand-drawn posters to hang in their businesses.

"I think that's nice," said Steven Rancourt, the Murphys Hotel bartender on duty. "It's better than random acts of terrorism."

The international Random Acts of Kindness Week is being observed this week, ending Friday.

To begin the week, Albert Michelson fourth-graders spent an afternoon pulling weeds and cleaning up their campus. The fifth-graders tied light blue ribbons around trees in downtown Murphys and passed out smaller ribbons to residents, visitors and stores.

The ribbons will be passed on to people who do good deeds.

It was the first time Michelson students took park in the annual event, but Copperopolis and Mark Twain elementary schools take part every year.

"We're hoping that (students) just learn what it means to be kind — to do something for somebody else without expecting something materialistic in return," said Debbie Rocco, the campus leadership coordinator at Michelson.

The lesson hit home for 8-year-old Drew Haymond.

"I'm very happy that everyone in all the shops got a poster," said Drew, whose own creation read "Hand Out Smiles."

Lexi Anderson, also 8, used colored pencils to draw a red-and-pink poster that read "Listen With Your Heart."

"I like how you can share kindness all around town," she said.

In the Mark Twain Elementary School District, Copperopolis and Mark Twain students each write an essay about an inspirational person.