FRENCHTOWN - What’s better than a coffee in the morning? Maybe one with a positive note from an elementary schooler.
The cup sleeves at Clark Fork River Coffee Company in Frenchtown display a positive drawing or note from a student at Frenchtown Elementary School.
The program is part of the school’s kindness project and began about five years ago as an idea from school counselor Amy Griffin.
“If we just teach the kids at a young age that they can have such a powerful impact, it really can change the world," Griffin said. "Just in that one, small, simple gesture you can really turn someone’s day around, and the sooner we can teach that, the younger we are, the better our impact in the world."
The sleeves are drawn by kindergarten through fifth-grade students who use their own imagination to write something kind.
“The way that I phrase it to them is when you wake up in the morning and have a really hard day, what’s a message that you would want to receive to get yourself going?” said Frenchtown Elementary School counselor Sadie Forte. “Like what's a way that you can turn someone's day around when they get a cup of coffee?”
Griffin and Forte say Frenchtown is a town that rallies behind its schools and the kindness project is a way for the kids to give back to the community.
“I think this kindness project is just one more way to tie the community together, and yeah, it just feels like family,” Griffin said.
Frenchtown focuses on teaching its students how to spread kindness and positivity.
They include the kids in many different kindness projects, including writing secret post-it notes for teachers or hiding rocks with positive notes painted on them around the school.
Clark Fork River Coffee Company owner Ashley Wingo says she absolutely loves being able to share the kids’ notes, and she and her staff look forward to reading them every year.
“Just in the world today, I think, kindness is lacking, so it’s just a small way to reiterate that to them, how important, something so small as a sleeve, can make someone’s day,” Wingo told MTN News.
Because some of the children are only beginning to learn how to spell, the sleeves can often be funny. “Some of the artwork and the words that these kids say are hilarious,” Wingo said.
You can share your own sleeve, or see other sleeves, at the hashtag #sleeevespiration or #sleevesofkindness. Additional information about Clark Fork River Coffee can be found here.