PITTSBURG, Kan. — My son needed duct tape in three colors in time to take to school last Friday — an unusual request for a sixth-grader, even a creative one like him.

He needed it to make flowers, he said, as part of a kindness project.

I was intrigued.

Turns out the kindness project kicks off Monday and runs all week at Pittsburg Community Middle School, where Natalie Talent, a motivated and enthusiastic eighth-grader he knows, is spearheading a schoolwide effort to make our community a better place.

Natalie was inspired by the national movement “dude.be.nice,” whose founder and CEO, Brent Camalich, will speak at the middle school at 8:30 a.m. Monday to help with the kickoff.

Students got a head start on Friday by creating kindness notecards to stick to the cafeteria wall, spelling out “dude.be.nice.”

Throughout the week, students will be using that duct tape to create flowers. They’ll deliver them around town, including to an elderly residential facility, and businesses and individuals downtown.

They’ll also focus on being nicer to each other. Students will write their names on pieces of paper and exchange them with classmates, who will write nice notes about each person before passing them on.

On Friday, students will participate in “Hug/High Five Time,” reminiscent of the movie “Trolls.” And that afternoon in a surprise assembly, the entire student body will recognize someone from the school district and someone from the community who they feel is underappreciated.

At some point in coming weeks, Pittsburg residents also can expect to see students from kindergarten through 12th grade spread out across town with trash bags to complete their annual community cleanup day, which was postponed last Friday due to the torrential rain.

Looking ahead

Monday kicks off a busy month for all of Pittsburg, and this week is no exception. An art exhibit in Porter Hall at Pittsburg State University showcases work that has had a major impact on the art world. It was created by someone who has had a major impact on generations of PSU students.

Marjorie Schick came to teach art at PSU in 1967 and in the past 50 years — 50! — has created art that can be found in national museums and private collections around the world. She will deliver an artist’s lecture about her work at 3 p.m. Saturday in Room 409 of Russ Hall, with a reception following in Porter Hall.

Monday night, the Pittsburg High School jazz band will combine with PSU’s Blackjack Brass Band in a fundraiser from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Brickyard Grill, 516 N. Broadway.

And on Thursday, the best of high school musicians from across the Four-State Area will convene on the PSU campus for the 34th time for the Four-State Band Festival. Their day will culminate with a concert for the public at 7 p.m. at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts.

I’ll have much more to share next Monday. Make it a great week.

Andra Bryan Stefanoni, a former Globe reporter, now works as a freelancer. She lives in Pittsburg, Kan.

Andra Bryan Stefanoni is a staff writer for The Joplin Globe. She has been a reporter and editor at The Pittsburg Morning Sun and the former Girard Press, has written for state and national magazines, and has taught journalism.