Students spread positivity with 1,300 post-it notes

By Douglas McCulloch | Oct 26, 2017
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch Lilly Wheaton places a sticky note on a locker.

When Dartmouth Middle School students arrived for school on October 27, each student found a surprise waiting on their locker – a post-it note with a positive and inspiring message written on it.

It was the result of a month-long project by RISE, the middle school’s after-school club devoted to raising awareness of mental health issues, bullying, and other issues that students face.

Ten students in the club spent weekly RISE meetings writing messages on more than 1,300 individual post-it notes with statements such as "believe in yourself," "you can do it," kindness matters," "dream big," and "be kind towards others and to yourself."

After school on October 26, students put their post-it notes to use and stuck a note on each locker in the school.

“We will be covering the middle school lockers so when the kids come in tomorrow morning every locker will have a positive statement,” said Dartmouth Youth Advocate Jen Cabral, who also runs the RISE group.

It’s the second year of the post-it note campaign. Last year, students blanketed the middle school and Bishop Stang High School with notes. This year, the campaign highlighted the school district’s Unity Day, which raised awareness of bullying in each school. Cabral said the sticky note idea came from a powerful tool she found to fight bullying.

“I think the opposite of bullying is kindness,” Cabral said.

Randi Medeiros, an eighth grader who has been in RISE for two years, produced dozens of post-it notes with messages including “don’t ever change.” She looked towards herself for inspiration.

“I wrote messages I would want to hear from someone else,” Medeiros said. “I’m hoping that will put a big smile on students faces.”

Eighth grader Lily Wheaton said her goal with her message was to help students “be happy and spread positivity,” she said.

Cabral is already planning more events for RISE to tackle more issues. Closer to prom season, students will raise awareness of alcohol and substance abuse. Next month, students will be collecting donations for families in need for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Donation bins will also be set up at Town Hall starting on November 1 to support the donation drive, and Cabral is looking for families in need to benefit from the program.

Those who are or know of someone in need can contact Cabral at (508) 910-1855 or by email at jcabral@town.dartmouth.ma.us.

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