Rocks

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Top Pa ROCKS,” and began painting rocks to place around town.

She finds rocks in the woods outside her house and paints them with acrylic paints that sell for 50 cents a bottle at Wal-Mart. When the rocks are dry, she applies a clear coat of polyurethane spray. Then she leaves them for others to find at the library, local parks, restaurants or other sites.

She started the website about six weeks ago and now has more than 125 followers. Her rocks list the Facebook page on the back, so people are posting photos of themselves with the rocks they’ve found. One woman posted a photo of a rock painted like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and noted that although McDonald’s had run out of Happy Meal toys that day, she found a rock for her child instead.

Larissa’s sons –Conner, 9, Colten, 6, and Remington, 3 Wilkes –have painted some rocks also, along with some of the people who have found the Facebook page. Colten found a rock that was painted by someone other than his own family –a rock with a pizza design that he found at the Kirby Library and then placed on the nature trail outside the library. Larissa said one woman contacted her to tell her that her son, who has autism, has begun painting rocks and loves it.

The Kirby Library hosted a rock-painting session last month. Youth Services Director Laura Keller heard about rock painting early in the summer when a fellow librarian in Wayne County started the “Wayne County Pa ‘ROCKS’” Facebook page. But then rocks started appearing on the grounds of Kirby Library, including a rock painted like a strawberry on top of the book drop box one day.

Laura decided to join forces with Mountain Top painters by gathering supplies and offering a rock-painting session on Sept. 1 when Crestwood schools were off for the Labor Day weekend. Mt. Top Kids daycare took a group of children to paint at the library. Keller hopes to hold a second rock-painting session this fall and encourages patrons to watch Facebook for announcement of a session on a Tuesday evening or a Saturday.

Larissa has painted about 200 rocks so far. She enjoys making cartoon characters, Disney characters, twilight scenes and other designs. She found one rock that was shaped like a hand with the index finger pointing up, so she painted that one with a “#1 Comets” design for Crestwood schools.

Larissa has no art background, but she searches the Web for designs she feels she can reproduce. She painted some rocks with patriotic designs and left them at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center.

Some people have found rocks in the Mountain Top area and then re-hidden them on trips to Brooklyn, N. Y., Myrtle Beach, S. C., and Ocean City, Md.

“I hope I can get more kids” to paint rocks, Larissa said. “It’s cheap, and it gets them outside.

“I’m just trying to get everyone out there to spread some kindness. It’s better than the terrible stuff we see on TV.”