Yelm district giving back to students with Kindness Matters book

Proceeds benefit the Learners Without Limits Foundation


To cap off its participation in the “Great Kindness Challenge” in January, Yelm Community Schools held an art contest in which students had a chance to see their artwork in a published book. On March 8, the book, “Kindness Matters!” was officially published and is up for sale on Amazon for $12.95.

Proceeds from the book sales will go toward the Learners Without Limits Foundation, which provides low-income students with essential items such as clothing, shoes, backpacks, supplies and more. Artwork from 25 students in the district are on display in the 32-page book.

YCS will honor some of the student artists with two assemblies on Friday, April 12, first at Lackamas Elementary in the morning and then Southworth Elementary in the afternoon. Every student will receive a certificate and a copy of the book to keep.

The district chose the artwork of three students from every school, with the exception of Ridgeline Middle School, which had seven representatives in the book. Shannon Gubser, a student support specialist for YCS and the organizer of the “Great Kindness Challenge” in Yelm, said the process of narrowing down student artwork for inclusion in the book was difficult.

“We had a rubric to make sure that students were following the theme, which was ‘kindness matters in our community,’ and so we tried to use the ones that were representative of the theme,” she said. “We also focused on color and uniqueness. Those were the main things.”

Gubser added that the district purchased one of the books to display in the libraries of the schools.

During the week-long “Great Kindness Challenge,” students were tasked with performing 50 acts of kindness throughout the week. They also participated in community spirit days and placed posters and notes with positive messages around the school.

“The intent of the challenge is that we are positively impacting our schools with a culture of kindness, but it would be so amazing if it became a part of our community and not just individual schools,” Gubser said. “Part of this book is to highlight individual students and schools, and the other part is that it goes out to our community.”

To purchase the “Kindness Matters!” book on Amazon, go to