Lydia, a fifth-grader at Rosa Parks Elementary, entered a contest called Certified Kind, sponsored by Gap Kids and Lionsgate. Students were challenged to design a T-shirt that illustrates what kindness looks like.
Lydia’s shirt shows stick figures holding hands around a globe with the words “Kindness is everything; it’s a chain reaction.” Her shirt went on sale Nov. 13, World Kindness Day. Profits will benefit myFace and Children’s Craniofacial Association, two nonprofit organizations dedicated to supporting children with craniofacial differences.
“It’s pretty neat to have my T-shirt sold at Gap Kids,” Lydia said. “It’s even more important to teach kids at my school and everywhere to be kind to each other.”
Her achievement is remarkable for a number of reasons, especially for aspiring designers who spend many years trying to get into reputable retailers like the Gap. Our board of education was honored to recognize her during its November meeting.
The Certified Kind contest was inspired by the film “Wonder,” which debuted in theaters Friday. Lydia’s class, taught by Shaun Pennington, read the book of the same name, which tells the story of Auggie Pullman, a boy born with facial differences that hindered him from attending mainstream school.
Mr. Pennington’s class read the book long before they learned about the kindness challenge. He assigned the book to them because the characters are the same age as his students and he felt the situation might resonate with them. It was a happy coincidence that he found out about the contest after they had read the novel. Now that the buzz about Lydia’s accomplishment has gotten around the school, students and teachers in other classrooms are excited to read “Wonder.”
As a reward for winning the contest, Lydia’s class was treated to an early screening of the movie – a special treat for all of the children, especially two students who had never been to a theater. Experiences like these will be remembered by Lydia and her classmates for years to come.
Congratulations, Lydia! You’ve made your school and our community proud.