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Student-Created Storybook Promotes Kindness

Noelle B. ‘24 wrote and illustrated a colorful children’s book to promote the spread of kindness. With an interest in neuroscience as a jumping off point, Noelle researched the impact of color on children’s developing minds, learning that messages with colorful stimuli are more likely to become permanent memories. This finding inspired Noelle to create a storybook that linked the gifting of colorful balloons in a black-and-white world with the spread of compassion.

In the book, titled The Balloon Girl, the main character Joye holds a cluster of balloons from her birthday party while walking home. In each set of pages, she notices someone who needs help in some way (a kid crying, experiencing bullying, etc). Joye's kindness radiates in color in the black and white world. With each interaction she gives one of her vibrant balloons away, signifying the physicality of compassion. Receiving a balloon from Joye fills each character with her kindness, as they too become colorful.

The Art Club at Calhoun that Noelle helps lead successfully published 35 copies of The Balloon Girl through Barnes & Noble Press with money raised from a bake sale. The club then donated the books to three nonprofit organizations: Reachout & Read, Homeward NYC and Books for Africa. 


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