Never underestimate the power of a small Post-it note, a pen, and a few kind words.
The student body of Smith-Cotton High School discovered that Monday morning as they entered the building.
Thirty students in Marina Scheiner’s fifth hour family relations class had posted the walls, halls and lockers — any surface they could find — with more than 4,000 Post-it notes, each with a message of encouragement.
“When I came in the building I saw all these notes everywhere,” junior Olivia Greer said. “My friends and I read a lot of them and when I got to my locker there was one that said ‘be happy and smile,’ and it had a smiley face drawn on it.
“I thought it was really cool to think that someone took the time to do all of this to make people’s day better,” Greer added. “Especially on a Monday.”
Monday was National Positive Post-it Note day, an idea Scheiner found and decided to incorporate into her curriculum.
“This whole project centers on building self-esteem and self-concept,” Scheiner told her first hour class Monday morning. “As teenagers it is a very fragile time for that stage of your development.”
The project took less than a week to complete but has had an impact on the students already.
Scheiner’s students were each given 100 Post-its. They had to brainstorm and find 25 quotes that had relevance to them.
The students then hand-wrote the notes and could decorate them if they chose to do so. The students were also asked to write a reflective paper describing what the assignment meant to them and the impact they felt it would have on the student body.
“I think doing this activity was a good idea because it makes us think there’s more to life than always having negative things to say about each other,” Destiny Archambault wrote as part of her assignment. “I think doing this project will sort of bring everybody together.
“I think it will help some people, but then some people won’t care about it at all,” she continued. “I think it will show some people too that being mean and saying rude things is not always the answer.”
Coming on the heels of Homecoming, Scheiner was proud of her students and the amount of work they put into the project.
“Last week was really busy with all the Homecoming activities but my students came in on Sunday evening to make sure we had them all up before the students arrived,” Scheiner said. “I really have a wide, diverse spectrum of students in my class, a great cross section of kids and they all came together to make this work.”
S-C Principal Wade Norton was grateful for the efforts of the class as well.
“What these students did is a great way for all students to get a positive message out,” Norton said. “They may not have made the face-to-face contact but it is a great way to get a positive message out there and put everyone in the right mood.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484