Mandatory positive activities strengthen the community


Kelby Wittenberg

Letters of thankfulness that sophomores wrote have been arranged to read “SOPHS” on the windows of the library.

Throughout the school year, different grades have different ways of showing their appreciation for those around them in the SPA community. For example, before leaving on Thanksgiving break, Sophomores had to write something they appreciate about their class on an outline of a turkey that was then posted onto the library windows. Juniors also had to write both a letter to an adult they appreciate and a classmate they are thankful for before they left on Thanksgiving break.

Mandated community positivity is both a fantastic way to bring individual grades closer and a way to strengthen the SPA community as a whole. Not only does it allow members of the community to show appreciation for those around them, but it allows them to be sincere in the complements they give, an opportunity that is rare in the everyday classroom setting. For students that may feel at odds with their fellow grade members, activities like these strengthen their connections with those around them. Every single high school student appreciates positive feedback, whether it be from a friend or someone who they’ve never talked to. Teachers believe in making these positive activities mandatory because they see the terrific impact it has on our community.

“I think it’s really important to have a chance to reflect on the things that you’re grateful for. I don’t think we do that often enough and we’re very fortunate to be here around the people that we’re around with the kind of support that we have here and I think sometimes that gets lost in the chaos of school,” said Sophie Kerman, junior class advisor.

“I think sometimes it’s easy to forget the positive and always focus on the negative and always be stressed out, so I think it’s very helpful to take a moment to really think about what you’re grateful for and things you’re thankful for and I think that can put a little perspective on what you’re going through,” said Mallory Schmidt, assistant junior class advisor.

It’s evident that teachers know these activities are beneficial, which is the reason classes do them year after year. The grade leaders should continue to have these sessions where students are required to express thankfulness to those around them because it allows both the individual grades and community as a whole to become stronger together.