A group of grade six students at Lake Vista Elementary School (LVS) are working hard to inspire change, not only within their school, but in the way that they go about their day to day life. Grade 6 teacher, Meagen Giannios, and her class were the minds behind a school-wide campaign that is taking place from October 15-30 called Feelings Matter. During this time, students and staff will be asked to do something kind for someone at least once during their day. Once their kind gesture is completed, they will record it on a sticky note, which will then be placed inside one of the letters of “CARE” that have been painted on the windows outside the school’s gymnasium. “This is an extremely important initiative so that we can build a positive community here at Lake Vista and combat bullying and negative talk. We want to make our school the best place it can possibly be by making students feel safe and feel like they matter,” Giannios explained.
The idea behind this initiative came as the class was learning about self-image in health class and discovered how the people that we surround ourselves with can have a huge impact on how we feel about ourselves. “We talked about how if we are surrounded by negative people, who put each other down or use negative language, we started to have a bad image of ourselves,” Giannios said. From there, the class discussed how far a small act of kindness such as a note can have a major positive impact on someone.
The first part of the LVS motto is “Feelings Matter – So We Care” and the class decided to use this for their campaign. They then painted big letters of “CARE” on the windows of the gym and the goal is to fill each letter with sticky notes of kind gestures such as helping someone that got hurt, tidying up without being asked, playing with their care partners and much more. “At our school, relationships are the absolute centre of everything. This goes along with us trying to establish that culture where we want people to feel safe, that they matter and that they are cared for. This is our conscious way during these 15 days to make sure that we are doing that,” Giannios added. “This is not only something for them to do during this time, but something that everyone can practice in day to day life.”