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Local students make St. Patrick's Day a day to spread kindness

Helen Parks explains that instead of 'leprechaun' mischief, her students are spreading kindness and acts of service this holiday.

GILBERT, S.C. — Some students out in Lexington County spent their St. Patrick's Day serving as reverse leprechauns by doing good instead of mischief. 

Gilbert kiddos in green were on a mission this morning at the Gilbert Community Park. 

"We're hiding rocks and trying to make people smile," Robbie Shope, a third grader who was participating said. 

The rocks these 4 to 11 year-olds painted were in true St. Patrick's day theme, with gold pots and signs of good luck. 

The students also took trash bags and gloves to scour the park for trash to pick up. 

"Nurturing little minds and growing big hearts," said teacher Helen Parks.

Parks, a teacher and director at Big Blue Marble Academy, a local after school center, says these are activities geared toward service learning, adding that her class has also created blankets for local shelters and hosted pajama drives for foster care groups. 

Today was the perfect time for another one of these kindness projects since teachers have a work day, she added. 

"We know we live in a time that has faced so many challenges recently and we want to create a new generation of people who know how to be good citizens, who know how to help a friend, who know how to help a stranger," Parks said.

"It feels really good," Kolby Galloway a fourth grader said.

Parks explains that her kids love it and kindness projects like these get them outside and away from screens for a little while.

"It makes me really happy to make others happy," Amelia Shope a fifth grader said.

According to Parks, their next kindness initiative is to raise money for underserved mothers and their babies in hospitals in Africa.

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