Heart of Treasure Valley

These Boise students made 1,000 messages of hope. What they learned? Kindness comes back

Garfield Elementary School students, 350 of them, spread across Boise to visit the Idaho State Veterans Home, nursing homes, schools, restaurants, the Downtown library, the Boise State University campus, refugee groups — and greeted random passersby on the Grove Plaza.

Their message was simple: Kindness.

Garfield, along with the Boise School District, had a Kindness Project before Mayor Dave Bieter announced the “Boise Kind” community initiative.

“It just showcases what the Boise School District has always done,” says Dan Hollar, spokesman for the district.

Inspired by a book called “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” a historical novel, Garfield students, staff and volunteers spent several months hand-making 1,000 folded paper cranes. Students tucked hand-written notes into the cranes and delivered them last week.

“Spreading kindness and hope and stuff,” explained Amancio Ibarra.

“So people can feel good,” said second grader Grayson Trumbo.

What they found? Kindness works both ways.

“It brought joy to my heart,” said third grader Riley Strang, who passed out cranes in the Grove. “Because I’m giving happiness to other people, and I’m spreading it. ... It’s just a little thing, but it makes a big difference.”

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Visual journalist Katherine Jones has been with the Statesman since 1990. She was named the Idaho Press Club’s Photographer of the Year in 2017, and Reporter of the Year in 2014. She frequently combines words, photos and video to tell her stories.If you like seeing stories and photos like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.