Cultivating Kindness at Grimmer | Not in Our Town

Cultivating Kindness at Grimmer


Kindness Tree Grimmer
Standing opposite of the library at Grimmer Elementary School, the Kindness Tree mural serves as a reminder to all those who see it to cultivate kindness.


The fourth, fifth, and sixth graders at Grimmer Elementary School in Fremont, CA created the mural to represent the school and its diverse community. Collaborating with artist Brenda Pattee, the students designed the mural and chose the color scheme.

Unique birds representing the students sit on the tree’s sprawling branches, surrounded by flowers with the word for “kindness” in different languages painted on them and banners written in English and Spanish. All the languages, including Farsi, Pashto, Portuguese, Laotian, Vietnamese, Urdu, Arabic, Tagalog, Chinese, and Hawaiian, come directly from the school’s community.

Livia Thomas, the intervention specialist for K-6th graders and anti-bullying coordinator at Grimmer, calls the Kindness Tree mural a “little miracle.” After a long-standing bullying incident was discovered at Grimmer three years ago, Livia worked with principal Judy Nye to stop bullying and create an Upstanders program for the school.

Since then, Grimmer Elementary School has continued its mission to “cultivate kindness” by writing Upstander Pledges and working with Not In Our Town to make the film, “Leaving a Positive Footprint.” The Kindness Tree Mural is their latest project, and will continue to inspire future students to be Upstanders.

Click here for the lesson plan for Leaving a Positive Footprint.



Great initiative. Indeed, all schools need to combat bullying and the most brilliant way is through raising children's awareness of differences. We are all equal, even in differences.

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