E.L. Ross sprinkles happiness for second year

By COLBY DENTON
Posted 4/15/18

The students at E.L. Ross took up their banners and spread some cheer recently through the school’s second annual Happiness Sprinkling event.

School counselor Emily Elliott said the event …

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E.L. Ross sprinkles happiness for second year

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The students at E.L. Ross took up their banners and spread some cheer recently through the school’s second annual Happiness Sprinkling event.

School counselor Emily Elliott said the event was such a success last year that they had to continue the tradition.

“These kids have large signs, around 12-by-36 (inches) that say encouraging messages like, ‘Free hugs,’ ‘You can do it!,’ ‘You’re a good parent’ and they all wear yellow and wave these signs at passersby,” Elliott said.

Many of the kids say how excited they get when they see the faces of the drivers turn from confusion to happiness. Elliott said that many people will pass by and come back around to see and honk at the kids.

“This has been a lot of fun for the kids — to focus on sharing happiness with others instead of focusing on themselves,” she added.

The event lasted from 9:45 a.m. to 3:05 p.m., with a different class rotating into the “sprinkling” role every 20 minutes. Music was played on speakers for the students to dance or hula-hoop to, and many students certainly got into the fun!

Students at E.L. Ross go to a special class each day, such as P.E., music or computer lab. For Happiness Sprinkling, each specialist teacher would go out and play with the students who were hula-hooping, dancing or playing, while the others were sprinkling happiness with their signs.

The idea to do Happiness Sprinkling came to Elliott after attending a conference where one speaker spoke on kindness, using the program as one of their examples.

According to Elliott, when we demonstrate an act of kindness, we get just as much joy out of the experience as the person who receives it. Even people who simply hear about an act of kindness get joy from the story as well.

“This is a great way to give back to our community. The kids get happy, they in turn make their parents happy and the cycle just continues,” Elliott said.

Happiness Sprinkling is a large, nationwide program that furthers happiness around the country each year. Many of the signs have signatures on the backs from kids all over the U.S. after sprinkling happiness to their communities.

Two students, Gavin Harris and Baraka Ndegwa, both fourth-graders in Ms. Paul’s class at E.L. Ross, said they love bringing joy to passersby in the community.

“We’ve gotten several smiles to far,” Harris said. “A lot of people also slow down to read our signs.”

Both boys are part of the Launching Leaders program at the school, whose members take leadership roles in their classes, such as opening doors for others.

“We think this helps to encourage others to take on leadership roles and grow,” Ndegwa said.

Elliott believes that Happiness Sprinkling affects not only viewers and the students, but also generations to come.

“Maybe these kids will get a passion about volunteering and instill that same passion into their children and their children pass it on,” she said. “This is helping kids help in a caring way.”

Happiness Sprinkling will return to Cleveland next year in 2019.

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