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Rock Garden Provides Positive Messages

rock garden Feb. 4, 2021 – Hand-sized painted rocks with words of encouragement are welcoming students back to classes. Located in a corner of North Technical High School’s B Building, the rocks are meant to provide a bit of encouragement, some hope, and plentiful smiles as students pass by or even take one with them.

The rocks are decorated in a variety of colors with kind words like, “Make today great!,” “Beautiful, Peaceful, Grateful,” and “You Are Beautiful.”

“Rocks are a symbol of nature and being grounded, frequently used to represent strength and calmness – that is why our group chose this symbol to use in the garden,” said Krista Sherman, North Tech social worker.

The Rock Garden was introduced during the 2019-2020 school year, inspired by a group of students who attended the Megan Meier Foundation leadership workshop. The students, who were a part of North Tech’s Empowerment Group, painted hundreds of rocks that were taken by students, shared with staff, and even given to siblings and parents.

“The rocks were so popular when the students first put the garden together – the members could barely keep up with painting!” said Sherman, who is also a facilitator of the group.

The challenging end to last school year caused the project to be paused until students returned to the building.

“When our school closed in March, newly painted rocks were left drying in my office and could just now be put out for students to take, read, and enjoy just this week when students returned in person,” said Sherman. “Many of the rocks were painted by seniors in the Class of 2020, so what I find encouraging about our rock garden is that students who no longer attend school here are passing along positive messages of encouragement to the current North Tech students.”

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused the Empowerment Group and many other clubs to be put on hold this year. “Many of our members graduated last year and we were not able to recruit new members this fall as we would normally be able to at the beginning of the school year,” said Sherman.

Despite its challenges, Sherman is hopeful to keep the Rock Garden alive and thriving during the remainder of the school year. She intends to have students paint the rocks while visiting her office.