Watertown High School Student Creates and Installs Project Kindness Mural

At right, Ella Makowski of Watertown (front) and Emalyn Osborne of Watertown (rear) install a Project Kindness tile mural at Watertown High School in October of 2021. Project Kindness was created by Ella, a senior at Watertown High School, with the goal of leaving a permanent legacy through an inclusive space to help promote friendships between students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. Shown at left is the final mural, conceived, created and installed with the help of volunteers and donors. 

WATERTOWN — Project Kindness was created by Ella Makowski of Watertown, a senior at Watertown High School, with the goal of leaving a permanent legacy through an inclusive space to help promote friendships between students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her love of programs such as Best Buddies, Unified Sports and Ben’s Bells of Newtown inspired the creation of the project with the plan of bringing a “be kind” mural to Watertown. With the mural, Ella hopes to spread a simple, but important message throughout the school and community: Be Kind.

To help fund and make Project Kindness possible, Ella applied for and was awarded the Youth Innovation Grant from Special Olympics International. The balance of the funding was raised with support from the community.

Homemade Be Kind yard signs were created with custom stencils made and donated by local craftsman BDC Woodcrafts and then sold throughout Watertown, Oakville, surrounding towns and nationally.

Throughout the few months of fundraising last summer, residents could see the message of kindness begin to flourish as the community came together displaying signs in their yards.

All of the mosaic tiles incorporated into the mural were designed, hand crafted and painted by volunteers, giving them a chance to leave their own special mark on the mural.

The mural was installed at Watertown High School over four days during October 2021, with the help of community volunteers who worked in shifts applying tiles and grout to the wall.

Ella hopes that this mural will create a safe and welcoming space for students at WHS to use for classes and encourage the fostering of new friendships while increasing kindness and creating a culture of inclusion within the school community.

Those interested may like Project Kindness on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WHSProjectKindness

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