Mustangs March for Peace to Patterson Park

On Friday, March 10, the last day before Spring Break, the entire student body marched from campus to Patterson Park in the first Maplewood March for Kindness. Teachers, parents and staff joined them, as did members of the McCallum marching band and cheerleading squad. The band led the way down Maplewood Ave., and younger students walked hand in hand with students from older grades. Parent volunteers were stationed along the road to keep traffic away.

The theme of the march was “No Place for Hate,” and there were songs, chants and guest speakers after everyone gathered at the park. Officer Kelly from Austin Police Department spoke to the students about being a No Place for Hate school and had all students recite our Resolution of Respect together. Jared Lindauer, Maplewood parent and board member of the Anti-Defamation League (Austin) talked to them about the importance and power of spreading kindness at every opportunity, and Lauren Rizzo from the Refugee Services of Texas spoke about how our values as a No Place for Hate school make ours a welcoming community for ALL families!

The march was covered by the Austin American Statesman, KEYE TV (CBS Austin), and Fox 7 News. Many thanks to the amazing Ms. Kelli Kirk and Social Emotional Learning committee for organizing this outstanding event! For more information on the March for Kindness, contact Maplewood School Counselor Kelli Kirk at

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Photos by Jennifer Potter-Miller

Video by Sunshine Mathon



Maplewood Elementary Announces the March for Kindness, March 10

By Heather Wagner Reed

Austin ISD school Maplewood Elementary is proud to announce the Maplewood March for Kindness, a school-wide march from Maplewood Elementary School to Patterson Park. The march will take place on Friday, March 10 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. The event will be accompanied by music, community speakers and chants celebrating peace.

Maplewood Elementary, having earned a “No Place for Hate” distinction for five consecutive years, will center the parade around a “No Place for Hate” theme. The entire student body will start the parade at Maplewood at 8:30 a.m. and will march two blocks to the neighborhood park, Patterson Park, to participate in a short rally.

The school has also invited dancers, cheerleaders and band members from McCallum High School to lead the students in song and cheers that promote peace.

Community speakers from the city government as well as Austin ISD will be at the Patterson Park rally to greet the marchers. These speakers will address the group with words of cohesion and inspiration to promote an inclusive environment before the students return to Maplewood.

Our March for Kindness is the perfect way for Maplewood to express the main mission of our school: promoting peaceful, inclusive behaviors between students, parents and all members of our community,” says Kelli Kirk, Maplewood School Counselor. “Each day at Maplewood Elementary, students and adults strive to ‘Increase the Peace’ by listening to and learning from each other, by resolving conflicts with respectful communication and by seeing the good in each other and ourselves every day. Please celebrate peace and inclusivity with us on Friday, March 10!

Maplewood March for Kindness

Maplewood Elementary has been lauded as a beautifully diverse representation of Austin, offering dual-language learning and an incorporation of the arts into all of its classes. The school’s mission statement, “to develop the WHOLE child – one who feels valued and is successful within a cooperative, safe learning environment,” resonates in the lessons taught in and events held out of the classroom.

Maplewood is an elementary school for pre-K through grade six located in East Austin. Opening in 1952, the school is known for its diverse student body and its motto “Increase the Peace.” The school is rated exemplary in the areas of overall performance, the fine arts, wellness and physical education, community and parental involvement, digital learning environment, dropout prevention strategies, educational programs for gifted and talented students, its Second Language Acquisition Program and its 21st Century Workforce Development Program.

One of the key attributes of Maplewood is the focus on Social Emotional Learning (SEL), which can be seen daily in the school’s “Peacemaker” program where students are recognized in front of the whole school when doing something good for others. “Working closely with our staff, parents and the community, we strive each day to ensure that every child is confident, successful and respected,” said Vickie Jacobson, Maplewood Principal.

Maplewood also hosts a number of events throughout the year such as Parent Prom, Fall Fest and Carnival, Spring Fling and Fun Run and more. As a resource to the surrounding community, the school is also an official polling location and the venue for the annual Cherrywood Art Fair, one of Austin’s most cherished holiday markets.

For more information on the March for Kindness, contact Maplewood School Counselor Kelli Kirk at

For more information on Maplewood Elementary, please see:

For media inquiries on the upcoming March for Kindness, please contact Juice Consulting:
Heather Wagner Reed