GMS students launch ‘kindness campaign’

by marlys good

Morgan Taylor wanted to make a difference. The GMS eighth grader is new to Greybull and new to the middle school. But it didn’t take her long to get in sync. Morgan, the daughter of Marla Taylor-Thomas and Kevin Thomas, is an active member of the student body, a manager for the GMS football and basketball teams and is in the concert band.

But she wanted something a little bit more and GMS Counselor Sharon Collingwood is glad she did.

Explains Collingwood, “About a month ago Morgan came to me with an idea for a Post-it Note campaign. The school Morgan attended last year had such a campaign and Morgan had found it meaningful.

“Morgan has recruited several members of her class to help her create note cards with kind and/or inspiring words on them that are then placed on students’ lockers once a week.

The notes are simple: “Never give up,” “Don’t stop trying,” “Someone loves you,” “You’re important,” “Thanks for being here” etc. Collingwood said she has a book of quotes in her office they can use, and “they Google a lot of inspirational quotes, some come from song lyrics. One day one of the teachers played a Journey song, and that day a lot of notes posted said, ‘Don’t stop believing,’ from the song.”

Collingwood said when the Kindness Campaign started, “I think some of the students were confused as to what the notes were, why they were getting them. Now they are making suggestions, like use more color, different things like that. And more students are coming in every week asking to help. They come in, hang out, put the notes together. I think they are getting a sense of community, some pride, knowing they are helping make their school a better place.”

As for Collingwood, the campaign is a double blessing. “Sometimes, as a counselor, students think if they come to your office, they must have a problem, there is something wrong with them. It is great to see them WANTING to come to my room. They stop in after school, in between classes, just to say hello. I love that; I love the students.”

Little kindnesses can make a big difference, both to those on the receiving end, and those on the giving end. GMS students are making a difference, one Post-it Note at a time.