(NORTH SALEM, N.Y.) -- Dozens of students from Pequenakonck Elementary School, along with their siblings and parents, turned out on May 23 to take part in the Ben’s Bells Community Night.

Ben’s Bells is a program that originated in Tucson, Ariz. Its goal is to promote acts of kindness in the community and the world. 

Ben’s Bells began in 2003 when founder Jeannette Mare lost her 3-year-old son suddenly to croup. Mare found solace working with clay after her son’s untimely death and created the concept of a string of clay beads with its signature bells to be randomly hung in places throughout the community for people to take and continue to spread kindness to others. The bells contain an inscription reading, “You found a Ben’s Bell. Take it home, hang it and remember to spread kindness throughout the world.”

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 “PQ was actually one of the first schools to become a Kind Campus,” said Beth Krueger, team leader and volunteer with Ben’s Bells in Bethel, Conn. “There are currently 125 schools in the area that are Kind Campuses. Our studio in Bethel is currently open four days a week where people can come in and volunteer to paint and create the clay ornaments used for our kindness products.”

At the Ben’s Bells Community Night at PQ, attendees were led through a mini kindness meditation before taking part in crafts that included: Kind Mind, Kind Notes, The Power of Yet, Kind Collage and clay painting. 

As part of the Kind Mind project, participants created, among other things, a bottle filled with glitter and water, that, like snow globes, serve to focus, de-stress and relax the mind. Students received a punched card for each craft created, and after they completed all the projects, they received a small gift from Principal Mary Johnson.