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Mayor Rory Hoskins, at the Jan. 27 village council meeting, officially proclaimed the week of Feb. 10-16 as Kindness Week in Forest Park — with help from first-graders Elena Baker and Bryce Grandberry, who attended the meeting and passed out sample kindness labels to the mayor, commissioners and department heads.

It will be Forest Park’s second annual Kindness Week; the first was in February 2019. The event was started by Betsy Ross first-grade teacher Amy O’Connell, who created an art project in which students designed labels with kindness-related sayings, such as “smile” or “have a great day,” to be produced and distributed to local businesses. These businesses, in turn, handed them out to customers to spread the message of kindness throughout the Forest Park community.

Project Kindness spread from Betsy Ross and became a district-wide project, with students in all D91 schools participating. During 2019’s Kindness Week, over 700 original designs were created by students, and over 10,000 labels with these designs were printed and distributed to Forest Park retail businesses.

D91 is partnering with the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce, the Forest Park Public Library, and the Park District of Forest Park to help support and promote Project Kindness.