Rochester mom starts a program on leadership, kindness

Nov 4, 2019

ROCHESTER — To stop the hate and violence that fuels mass shootings, Rochester resident Kelly Gagliardi has started Creative Little Leaders, an initiative to teach children leadership through kindness.

The mother to a three and a half year old often felt, concerned, afraid and helpless after hearing news of mass shootings. However, she eventually decided that “I don’t know how to fight it and make the change, but I have to at least try.”

She wants her company to be a platform to make a difference in the community. Gagliardi is still developing learning materials for Creative Little Leaders, but to start off wanted advice from Selectmen about another project of hers: a plan to distribute 5,000 bags with materials to encourage kindness.

The bags have a checklist of kind acts, candy, gratitude rocks, coloring sheets and information about Creative Little Leaders.

Selectman Woody Hartley suggested at an Oct. 4 meeting that the Council on Aging and Police Department might be a good place to spread the kindness bags, since they are active in the community. He also suggested the School Committee and the Rochester Memorial Principal as good people to help spread the message.

Gagliardi also asked about other nonprofits that do outreach, and was told about the local 4H Club and Boy Scouts.

“We have nothing organized at the level you are looking for,” Hartley said, “but it’s a great thing.”