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Woodville’s new garden celebrates individuality and community

By: Amanda Karioth Thompson, COCA | September 27, 2017

There’s a madness sweeping through Tallahassee and it seems no one is immune. It’s infecting our parks, public spaces, businesses and even schools. Most recently, the contagion took hold at Woodville School and students, faculty, and staff have all succumbed to the outbreak. The agent responsible for the mania… painted rocks.

The Tallahassee Rocks movement began less than a year ago and has reached craze status. The familyfriendly activity of painting rocks with colorful imagery and words of encouragement provides a low-commitment creative outlet which contributes to its popularity. There’s also a hide-andseek component that offers a sense of adventure and serendipity as artists let go of their creations to be found later by others. The trend sparked an idea for Elizabeth Rudd.

As the Assistant Principal of Woodville, Rudd works to create a culture where everyone on campus is valued and encouraged to contribute. She predicted that rock painting would magnify the current camaraderie within the school and she enlisted Woodville’s art teacher, Sally Ash, to spearhead the effort.

“Sally always does a beautiful job,” said Rudd “and I knew that she could take this and run with it.” Rudd’s goal was to “recognize individuality. All the rocks are different just like we’re different. Yet, when you put them all together, they make a collective whole.”

Ash introduced the project at the beginning of the year and tied it to the school’s character program based on the book “Jackie’s Nine” by Sharon Robinson. The book identifies courage, determination, teamwork, persistence, integrity, citizenship, justice, commitment, and excellence as the values that baseball great Jackie Robinson lived by.

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