The simple gesture of offering a few kind words about a person can make a big difference. That is the idea behind a new bulletin board in the main lobby of Southeast High School. A student is randomly selected to be featured, their picture is posted on the billboard, and students write things they like about that student on post it notes, which are then tacked to the board.
Southeast sophomore Peyton Simpson explained how he and junior Daisy Burns got the idea.
“We go to the Greenbush Leadership Academy every month and they did a presentation about Rachel Joy Scott,” Peyton said. “She was a really kind person and she did a lot of acts of kindness, and they gave us a challenge to do some sort of kindness project. One idea that anyone could do was an Instagram page where you post pictures and compliment people but we realized some people don’t have Instagram so we thought putting up a board in the lobby made sense. Everyone can see it.”
“It’s kind of our way of ‘posting online’ but we’re posting on the wall,” Daisy said.
She explained they use a computer to randomly select who to feature, but they get permission from that student first.
“Some kids don’t want their school picture in front of everyone so we go ask,” Daisy said. “We usually start with four or five of our own notes to get it started, and then their friends write some, and more people see it and add to it. We usually have 30ish by the end.”
“I just hope that it starts a chain reaction and people will just not care about being out there publicly and realize it’s okay to get compliments,” Peyton said. “It lets you know that people out there actually do care about you. Sometimes it doesn’t seem that way but when you look at the big picture they do.”
“When we’re done,” Daisy continued, “when we take the person down we collect all the post it notes and give it to that person so it’s kind of like, if they’re having a bad day or something they can go back through all of the notes that someone wrote about them and hopefully that’ll make some kids feel better about themselves.”
The students are left up for about two weeks. As of Winter Break, the students featured were junior Hannah Williams, sophomore Candice LeMaster, and junior Cady Lloyd.