Milton Hershey School Students Create Positivity Rocks
During an uncertain time in Milton Hershey School history John Davis, Coordinator of Visual Arts for MHS, created a 4-week focus arts series for Year-Round Experience (YRE) to encourage students to channel their reactions to the world’s current events through art and spread messages of positivity across the MHS campus.
“I want the students to focus on being positive and influencing others, specifically their peers, to seek healing, and spread hopeful messages,” Davis said.
The rock painting activity is a continuation of the 2019-2020 school year, where MHS students supported breast cancer awareness through hand-painted rocks with messages of hope and healing. The finished pieces were placed around the MHS campus and along the route of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Harrisburg.
This summer’s YRE art series focuses on Social and Emotional Learning, one of the four distinct areas of The Compass Project–a school-wide initiative to develop character and leadership through both classroom and student home lessons.
“As we focus on a challenging year ahead of us, we want to encourage good conversation between students and allow them to get in touch with their feelings, innate beliefs, and educate each other,” Davis said.
Rhys Rossier, an MHS sophomore, decided to decorate a rock for his houseparents, the Bertrands, in student home Englewood, for their positive spirit and “filling their home with love.”
“I appreciate my houseparents and all that they do for us,” Rossier said. “They fill our home with laughter, love, and positivity–so I thought it was only fitting to make something to showcase that.”
The completed rocks from this project will be placed in a new “Positivity Garden” at the Learning and Resource Center.
“I want this project to be a daily reminder to our students and staff that we can see positivity in every action that we take,” Davis said.