At Johnston’s ECC, ‘kindness is contagious’


The message “Kindness is Contagious” was everywhere inside Linda Greco’s well-decorated Early Childhood Center classroom.

Those words were prominently displayed on a huge hand-painted mural that stretched across the entire front wall of the Johnston all-day kindergarten room, which was filled to capacity with 50 proud parents, grandparents, family members, Principal Kerri Autiello and Superintendent of Johnston Public Schools Dr. Bernard DiLullo Jr.

For inside of 45 minutes or so, the children’s talents were showcased in a student-made video, a book that is being printed by a famous publishing company that will soon be in the hands of the ECC students, authors and illustrators.

Moreover, the ECC classroom was filled with just about every act of kindness from another handmade wall-hanging that featured an ageless adage that read “Little seeds grow up to be beautiful flowers” while another poster read: “This is your time to shine.”

As Greco told the parents: “The children in my class have been learning about kindness, what it means and how to share it. I tell them that kindness begins with them and we can spread it to one another and make the world a better place — one step at a time.”

The presentation also featured the children each sharing a kindness quote that met with applause from everyone inside the jam-packed classroom and later received rave reviews when students sang a song titled “H-U-G-S” as Isabella Pacitto, Matteo Carl, Anthony Pezzillo and Aria Pratt held handmade placards that spelled the song’s title.

“The children showed up each and every day showing respect, responsibility and were always ready and eager to learn,” Greco explained. “The first part of the school year was difficult; battling COVID and the students had to wear masks and remain six feet apart and were not allowed to sit on the rug as most children have been during morning meetings.”

Suddenly, a smile appeared on Greco’s face when she emphasized: “The class did it with ease; the coronavirus couldn’t keep us down. We were always uplifted through it all and made it our mission to spread kindness and not the virus.”

The program concluded with students being granted early dismissal, but not before everyone enjoyed different flavors of pizza from Catanzaro’s of Cranston and parents photographed their favorite student with their teacher via cell phones.

“Today was extra special,” were comments from people like Lorie DeVito, former long-time president of the once-famous and former Manton Seniors who came to support her grandson Anthon Pezzillo.

Meanwhile, as several people said as they congratulated Greco: “Everyone should be proud of what we just witnessed; we need more programs that offer lessons in life for people of all ages.”

Greco then told a small group of parents and concluding countless “Thank Yous”: “I live by this quote:     "One day you'll be just a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.”


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