The high school wellness class is focused on ways to promote gratitude for themselves and others and the class has engaged in a number of activities already this year to do just that. They’ve done chalk art, putting positive messages on the walkways into and out of school; they also wrote gratitude cards, painted rocks with positive words and put them around the school for kids to find, and the most recent was writing positive affirmations on sticky notes and putting them on each locker and door.
The goal was simple, “To give my kiddos a taste of what it feels like to give back positivity and see if they could apply it to their own lives,” says Wellness/Health teacher Carly Knetsch. “They are learning that gratitude doesn’t have to be a gigantic gesture. To share in acts of kindness benefits others but in turn benefits us, making us more joyful individuals.”
Students definitely took notice. "Seeing all these little positive notes around the school just made my day better and I'm sure improved a lot of other people's days too," says senior Molly Jackson.
Knetsch has done chalk art and rock painting before in class, but the sticky note affirmations came from kids. First, in a class when they had 15 minutes left in class. Then “afterwards, they asked if we could do that on a bigger scale and our school wide swipe took off,” she explains. “I think that was the impact. When my kiddos took it upon themselves to apply my lessons to real world situations.”
"You never know what everyone is going through, so one little note could make someone's day," says senior Kaylin Proctor.
These projects are beginning to cultivate gratitude. “This practice, combined with identifying the ‘good things’ in life, can significantly magnify our positive feelings and begin to realize that we are enough and that we not only can be but deserve to be happy.”
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