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Students paint Kindness mural in downtown Paducah

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PADUCAH, KY (WSIL) -- As kids prepare to return to school, one McCracken County student wants to leave a message of kindness for her classmates.

Guess Anti-bullying Foundation founder Morgan Guess is headed to college this fall, but she joined about a dozen volunteers to paint a mural in downtown Paducah Wednesday.

She started her foundation after being bullied when she was younger and says there wasn't a lot of conversation about bullying at the time. Guess says the foundation started educational programs to raise more awareness about bullying,
only to discover people are less interested in talking about negative issues.

"People don't want to talk about bullying, but people love to talk about kindness," explains Guess. "It's something so easy that anyone can do, and so this is our third mural in the Paducah area; this one is 'Kindness grows here,' it's a group of seniors from around the area, saying that 'We learned how to be kind here."

The mural is on the wall of the Paducah Flower Company on Lone Oak Road. Artist and Volunteer Kijsa Housman led the group and helped with its design.

She says in spite of the heat, volunteers from area high schools arrived early and worked through it.

"Some of them might think, 'oh painting a mural is really fun,' and some of them just really wanted to support the cause, they wanted to say, 'hey, we're on board, we're going to take this message, to our new homes, universities, colleges, workplaces, and we're going to translate that."

The colorful flowers represent the kindness the group hopes to impart on those seeing as they drive by. Guess Anti-Bullying Foundation has helped to pass state legislation for a Be Kind Kentucky license plate. It is due out next year with proceeds from the plates helping fund Mental Health Services for youth.

Joe Rehana

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