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SMS Students lead effort to bring morning smiles.

posted Mar 27, 2014, 8:56 AM by Adam Gress   [ updated Mar 28, 2014, 7:42 AM ]

SMS students lead effort to bring morning smiles

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
By Randy M. Cauthron, Managing Editor; and Kate Padilla, Daily Reporter Staff
Aria Peterson, a seventh-grade student at Spencer Middle School, spearheaded an effort with members of the Take a Stand, Lend a Hand committee, to place positive affirmation notes on every locker and teacher door in the school Tuesday after school. The effort resulted in smiles Wednesday morning when students arrived.
(Photo by Kate Padilla) [Order this photo]
When students began arriving at Spencer Middle School Wednesday morning they were greeted by multi-colored sticky notes on their lockers and teachers' doors.

The notes offered short positive messages and simple affirmations.

Preston Krukow, putting items away in his locker before the student rush, said, "They're really nice. This must have taken some time."

Seventh-grade student Preston Krukow puts his books away in his locker, surrounded by multi-colored sticky notes offering positive messages to him and his classmates.
(Photo by Randy M. Cauthron)
Maxx Higgins, who is a locker neighbor to Krukow in the seventh grade pod, guessed, "It was probably the SLC (Student Leadership Council) or Builders Club."

Actually, the effort was spearheaded by Aria Peterson. Peterson set the project up Tuesday after school, working with 15 students involved in the "Take a Stand, Lend a Hand" committee. The group pasted 500 handwritten notes to each locker and teacher's door.

It was an idea she brought to Spencer Middle School Dean of Students Adam Gress several months ago.

"My mom showed me this video on Facebook of a girl that did it at her school. I asked Mr. Gress if it would be a good idea, and we did it as a committee," Peterson explained.

"I thought it was a great idea. One student wants to make a difference in 450 students' lives," Gress said. "It was a great experience for everyone involved. You could see the smiles even as they were writing the sticky notes."

He added, "I'm sure that someone had a better day because of this. Maybe they weren't having a great day, and this note brightened their day.

"It seemed like something that could probably bring people closer together," Peterson said.

And the effort appeared well received by the surprised students in the school.

"There were a lot of smiles," she said. "People were talking about what they got on their note. I know some of the kids really loved it."

Gress said he's hopeful the effort is just the start of student caring efforts.

"We asked the rest of the school to pay this forward," Gress said, noting that most students probably weren't aware Peterson was behind it. "It started with one seventh grader doing something nice for 450 other students."

Regarding the Take a Stand, Lend a Hand committee, Gress commented, "It's a year in the works. It's really about working on the culture of the school."