William Wells Brown Spreads Kindness through Art
William Wells Brown Elementary students found a new way to express kindness through a challenge from CHI Saint Joseph Health. In art class with teacher Carrie Mulert, the Art of Humankindness Initiative helped them connect the beauty and creativity of their imaginations to the elements of friendship, generosity, compassion, and care for others.
“The kids came up with messages to inspire each other,” said Mulert, who displayed their artwork throughout the school for a month. “We talked a lot about actions. Being kind is not just words,” she said, citing the example of holding a door for a friend. “It’s what you embody and who you want to be.”
The other specials classes got involved, too, as the librarian, Spanish teacher, and STEM instructor incorporated kindness into their lessons. Mulert also related the hospital’s challenge to Dot Day, which encourages people to harness their creativity.
Demetria Blair, violence prevention manager over the hospital’s Creating Safer Neighborhoods Initiative, had worked with our school district’s Department of Family & Community Engagement to invite schools to spread kindness within their walls. Saint Joseph provided for William Wells Brown, Yates, and Russell Cave elementaries and George Washington Carver STEM Academy for Boys to purchase cameras, chalk, markers, paint, paper, and other art supplies to bring their vision to life. A total of 535 students participated.
Blair stopped by a William Wells Brown morning assembly to present Mulert and Principal Ebony Hutchinson with a trophy for their school’s efforts and colorful stickers for all the children. The upbeat video Mulert submitted for the challenge not only showcased the students’ artwork but also had the selection committee dancing! Blair also announced that she would come back for the school’s fifth grade promotion day this spring to recognize a Kindness Ambassador chosen by William Wells Brown.
For 2024-25, Saint Joseph will expand the Art of Humankindness Initiative by partnering with our school district’s Fine Arts Department. Interested Title I schools can submit a grant proposal that will award up to $2,000 to (a yet to be determined number of) schools that propose a yearlong Art of Humankindness Initiative that incorporates art media to promote positive social behaviors in school.
“At CHI Saint Joseph Health, we build healthy and positive relationships as we care for our patients within the walls of our hospital. We also carry that same commitment to the communities in which we serve,” Blair said. The Creating Safer Neighborhoods Initiative also supports other programs throughout Fayette County Public Schools including:
- CHI Saint Joseph Health Holiday Cheer (and gifts) for students - Russell Cave Elementary
- Soccer Club - Russell Cave Elementary
- 4th grade classroom volunteer - Russell Cave Elementary
- Cooking with Cops - Mary Todd Elementary
- Drug Awareness Week - Mary Todd Elementary
- Guidance - Mary Todd Elementary
- REAL Read - Mary Todd Elementary / Cardinal Valley Elementary
- Too Good for Violence program - William Wells Elementary
- “Ebony Nutcracker” - William Wells Elementary
- Back to School Rally - Winburn Middle School
- Discover Health simulation experience (hospital visit) - Bryan Station Middle School
- Health job shadowing and career opportunities - Southside Technical School