Making a Mark: Kindness Bookmarks

Well, the craziness of our California weather has literally put a damper on my Outdoor Musical Storytimes for the past few weeks, but I wanted to share this sweet project from my daughter’s elementary school.

One of the unique things about the school has always been that every student (Kindergarten through Eighth Grade) is assigned to a school “Family,” with one student from each grade. They stay in the same family until they graduate from eighth grade, and once a month, on “Family Day,” they do an activity together. The activities are usually simple games, like Bingo, or a craft project, like decorating paper plates to become the scales of a Lunar New Year dragon in the hallway. But last month, for the first time, they decorated bookmarks.

The theme of the bookmarks was Kindness, so the kids were told to write and draw things to encourage other students, like “Keep Smiling,” or “You Can Do It!” The school’s Library/Media Specialist, Sue, who sent me the picture above, told me that her favorite bookmark said, “You are not annoying!”

After the kids decorated the bookmarks on Family Day, the middle schoolers added the premade tassels, and Sue sorted them into piles for each class. I happened to be in the library reading to second graders today when she was handing out the bookmarks. The kids were so excited to get them, and also to wonder which student might have gotten the one that they made.

I thought it was such a sweet idea, and I would love to find a way to incorporate it into the public libraries where I work. Coincidentally, a library patron had just brought in some handmade bookmarks over the weekend, and asked if we would be interested in putting them out for people to take. These were made of leftover fabric from her sewing projects, and they were a huge hit! All that day people, both kids and adults, exclaimed over the different patterns, and were happy to take some home for their friends and family.

Fabric bookmarks made by a library patron.

Coincidentally too, today my coworker, Claire, happened to be leading a bookmark-making program at the library after school. She was having the kids make woven Chevron Bookmarks, like the ones shown in this YouTube video from Crafter Rani. But she also put out some plain cardstock for the kids to decorate with markers and stamps, and different types of pinking shears to cut the edges. One patron even made a bookmark just for us!

What is your favorite bookmark, or bookmark project? Please share it in the comments below.

Happy reading!