Lower School

Only One You Project Rocks Lower School

Meaghan Mallin, Head of Lower School

Lower School has engaged in an inspiring and dynamic community-building project that quite literally rocks. This project, stemmed from the book Only One You, by Linda Kranz, has culminated with the creation of a meaningful and child-centered Lower School rock garden, which has our mission at its heart.

During the first weeks of school, I visited Lower School homerooms to read Only One You to each class. Though this book might appear simple, it is chock full of meaningful wisdom and has something to offer all ages. The last sentence of the books reads, There’s only one you in this great big world… make it a better place. What an important and resonant message, especially in the times we are living in, and how fitting with our mission, which calls on us to help our young people develop into human beings who will make a positive contribution to the world. 
As a follow-up to reading the book, each student in Lower School completed the sentence, “I can make this world a better place by...” Their responses were beautiful and heartfelt. I can make this world a better place by smiling; by being a friend to everyone; by helping the elderly; by appreciating the small things; by advocating for what I know is right; by being kinder than necessary… and more.  Each student accompanied their insightful commitment to help others with colorfully decorated paper fish.  
As a culmination to this book project, we have created a lovely Lower School rock garden, which we invite you to explore as you visit Lower School. The garden comes alive with colorful rock fish, one painted by each of your children.  Adding to this, every Lower School faculty member created a rock as well, decorated with a word they chose to set the tone for our children as they enter our space each day. We have invited parents to do the same. The words chosen say everything about the power and heart of this community. Ways we want our children to feel: brave, fearless, playful, grateful; qualities we want our children to have: compassion, curiosity, perseverance, optimism; and things we want our children to do: create, dream big, grow, explore, reach, fly, and be kinder than necessary.
As our children approach Lower School each morning, this rock garden will serve as a reminder of the community they are a part of; a community hallmarked by kindness, discovery, and joy… a place where they are known and loved, and therefore can bring their best selves to the classroom each day.
We invite you to consider, what tone setting word might you add for our children? How do you hope our children will feel? What do you hope they will have and be throughout this school year? The possibilities are endless, just as the possibilities are for our children in the year ahead.
New Canaan Country School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin and are afforded all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, or disability in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid policies or any other school-administered programs.