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Pleasant Hills elementary school kids spread message of kindness

| Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, 5:12 p.m.
A kindness poster created by students at McClellan Elementary School hangs in the front window at Sports Clips in Bill Green Shopping Center in Pleasant Hills on Nov. 24, 2017.
Stephanie Hacke | for the Tribune-Review
A kindness poster created by students at McClellan Elementary School hangs in the front window at Sports Clips in Bill Green Shopping Center in Pleasant Hills on Nov. 24, 2017.

The holiday season can be stressful.

Rushing from here to there, while picking up groceries, buying presents and taking the kids to doctor's check-ups, Tracy Brnusak wants to remind people that it's OK to slow down and celebrate the positives in life.

The community outreach chair for the McClellan Elementary School PTA noticed all of the kindness initiatives occurring in the West Jefferson Hills School District being shared on social media.

But not everybody in the district has Twitter or Facebook, she said.

So, she wanted to find a way to spread positivity during the holiday season — and show the good deeds going on at McClellan — in real life with people throughout the community.

She worked with teachers at the school to have students in every class create a poster that shared a positive quote or kind words, then asked 20 businesses in Pleasant Hills to hang them in windows or on walls to spread the kindness.

“With this time of year, everybody has something else on their mind and it's just nice for them to think and maybe hold the door open for someone. We can learn a lesson from these kids,” Brnusak said.

Driving through the rain for three hours, Brnusak said she visited day cares, pizza shops, bakeries and the Pleasant Hills borough building and public library to drop off the posters. People in every place she visited stopped her to talk about the students.

The goal was for the banners to hang at the businesses at least until after Thanksgiving, but hopefully longer, she said.

Some of the posters had kindness quotes the teachers wrote with student drawings, while others had handprints from all of the students in the class with messages of positivity.

The kids were excited to see their work displayed throughout the community, Brnusak said.

“Hopefully this reminds people to be a little more positive and kind,” she said.

Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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