CMDS Rocks 4th Grade Citizenship Breakfast

Amy McSpadden, co-founder of the 901 Rocks! movement, was on campus last week as the CMDS 4th Grade Citizenship Breakfast guest speaker.

McSpadden has helped transform a simple idea ­– painting and hiding inspirational rocks ­– into nothing short of a Memphis-style phenomenon. Since July, more than 35,000 photos of people with their found rocks have been posted to 901 Rocks’ various social media channels. And thousands more have surely been found with no publicity at all.

She had some inspirational words for CMDS 4th graders and their ‘good citizen’ guests. (Each student invited a good citizen from their life to attend the breakfast with them.)

McSpadden told the story of 901 Rocks, from its introduction on a Midtown neighborhood’s Nextdoor page this summer (posted by co-founder Lisa Dawson) to the full-blown movement it is now.

The mission of 901 Rocks is one that exemplifies the qualities of a good citizenry: Cultivate kindness, plant hope and harvest joy for a better tomorrow in the 901.

It’s also helping catapult good vibes in Memphis.

“As the group becomes larger, 901 becomes smaller,” McSpadden said.

McSpadden, a visual arts specialist with Shelby County Schools at Bruce Elementary in Midtown, also pointed to some of the ancillary benefits from 901 Rocks. Adults are hosting paint parties. Families are slowing down and turning off the TV. Encouraging rocks are finding people that need them.

Each student made a 901 Rock for his or her invited guest, and McSpadden made CMDS-style rocks for every student.

Visit to learn more about the group, or find them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Citizenship in Social Studies

The Citizenship Breakfast was a culmination of the 4th graders’ first quarter Social Student domain. Topics covered included citizenship; citizens’ rights and responsibilities; voting and elections; the branches of the United States government; and, perhaps most importantly, the qualities of a good citizen.

Every student was tasked with writing an essay about citizenship and their invited ‘good citizen’ guest. Here are a few excerpts:

Don DeWeese Gibson's

Mr. Don (DeWeese, owner of Gibson’s Donuts) always says hello and greets everyone when they come into Gibson’s. His kindness makes him a great citizen. He helps others by being funny and making people laugh. Mr. Don cares about others and makes the best donuts ever! He encourages everyone to have a good day!

Grace Taylor Memphis

Grace (Taylor, former babysitter) is great with kids and always smiles even on bad days. Grace shows Christ in everything she does and has drawn me a lot closer to God. She is always friendly to me and is amazingly smart. She has taught me how to live like I am third in life.

Coach Jimmy Chambers Memphis

Coach Jimmy (Chambers) has shown good citizenship to me through teaching me how to play basketball and how to try my best. He feels like a father to me. Coach Jimmy has shown me good citizenship by teaching me to hustle. He also has shown me good citizenship by protecting people in our city.


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