In the 1800s, when Mary Baker Eddy was investigating the power of prayer, she answered the question, "is a stone spiritual?" in these words. "To erring material sense, No! but to unerring spiritual sense it is a small manifestation of Mind, a type of spiritual substance." Most folks said she was crazy to think a stone could have spiritual value, but students at Kittredge Elementary School in North Andover, Massachusetts understand.


Their discovery began 13 years ago, when Kyra Brown, Celia DiSalvo and Alex Gamble were in second grade. One day at recess they noticed what looked like a small stone in the ground behind their school. They felt compelled to dig it up. From then on (except when the ground was frozen) they spent every recess digging. First they used twigs; then little plastic spoons stolen from the cafeteria. Playground assistants told them to stop and took away their spoons. They were repeatedly sent to the principal's office, but they never quit. Finally, when they were in fifth grade, Richard Cushing became principal. According to DiSalvo, the new principal understood it "wasn't just a rock." He gave them shovels and buckets. "When it was being uncovered, different people had different opinions about it," Gamble said, "but this is not just a slab of stone. It's much more than that." Once the rock was uncovered, Principal Cushing hired heavy equipment to lift it from the ground and place it near the playground, and three years ago, when Kyra, Celia and Alex graduated from high school, they returned to Kittredge Elementary where the rock was dedicated. They were "rock" stars, literally and figuratively. But why?

"Traits such as ambition and determination that led us to dig up the rock even though we probably weren't supposed to and knew it, these traits have made us successful in our careers as students," Brown explained. Whenever current and future Kittredge students sit on the rock, they will remember these traits, and these memories give the rock spiritual value. Already, its become a beacon for kids who get picked on. If they sit on the rock, by the end of recess someone will sit with them. Just ask Walter Wanyoike. "I sat on the rock and then eventually some kids came and that changed my life forever," he said. "I thought I'd just sit there alone at recess. When I made these new friends, it felt magical."
When Kyra, Celia and Alex started digging in second grade, they wondered if they might find a timeless treasure. Apparently they did.