BENSON — Benson Primary School students and volunteers are creating a special mural filled with inspiring, visual reminders about treating the world with kindness.

It’s part of the “Ben’s Bells Kind Campus” mural project, and represents the second “Be Kind” mural on Benson Unified School District campuses. The first, which was completed more than a year ago at the middle school, is a flower mural, while the primary school is creating a “Be Kind” tree.

The students cut and stamp kindness messages on tiles, which are packed up and sent to a Ben’s Bells shop in Tucson where they are fired and painted. The primary school students completed the tiles for their mural in December. Parents and community volunteers gathered at the school to start creating the tree design by arranging and grouting the tiles in place on Jan. 30 and 31.

“These kindness murals are a great way to beautify our campus while creating a positive, connected communication through empathy and compassion for others,” said Benson Primary School Principal Jomel Jansson. “I’m super excited that we’ve been part of the Ben’s Bells project for 10 years now. This mural represents one of our program’s highlights.”

The primary school also recognizes students, teachers and staff who demonstrate “genuine acts of kindness” every month, Jansson added.

“Benson Primary School feels that through this beautiful tree mural, we are planting the roots of kindness that will spread throughout Benson Unified School District,” the principal said. “We’re all on board with this. We’ve had tremendous support from our parents and community volunteers.”

On Jan. 31, Brittany Fitzgerald, one of the Ben’s Bells muralists, was at the primary school overseeing the tree mural project as parents and volunteers were applying grout.

“It’s wonderful to see the pride here in this school, volunteerism and the way everyone comes together to support kind acts,” she said. “We couldn’t do this without all the amazing volunteers that are working to make this possible.”

There are future plans for a “Be Kind” flower mural on the front of the primary school, as well as blue Benson Bobcat paws on a back wall, Jansson said.

All will be covered with tiles bearing such messages as, “Be Kind — Step Up!; What Does Kindness Mean to You?;” and the Spanish word, “Seamable,” to name a few of the reminders.

Parent volunteer Samantha Davison said it means a lot to her that Benson middle and primary schools are part of the Ben’s Bells program.

“This is an amazing project,” she said. “It gives students a fun, hands-on opportunity to work with clay while creating something they can be proud of.”

Another parent volunteer, Rachel Oliver, has three children enrolled at Benson Primary School.

“One of my daughters received the Ben’s Bells award for her acts of kindness,” she said. “It’s a good lesson for all the kids to be part of this campus-wide project because it reminds them to have empathy and compassion for others.”

For information about Ben’s Bells, go to www.bensbells.org.

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