One project that has taken me a lot of work this year is my Kindness Wall projects. I wanted to implement one at both the middle school and the high school where I work. I wanted the walls to be spaces where students could go to find words that might inspire or give them a boost for the day. They would be able to take these words with them and have them as a reminder.
To begin the project, I ran it by the media specialists at each school, and acquired a space for my project. That was really the easy part. All loved the idea, and were happy to include it in the windows. The hard part would be the actual design of the space.
I began by scouring websites for quotes that were positive and inspirational. I would write down the ones I liked best, so I’d have easy access to them at any time. On the middle school’s Facebook page, I asked our families to provide quotes they really enjoyed. Our high school page was very busy, so I nixed the idea here. I received a lot of ideas from the middle school families, and added those to my already written quotes. In the end I stopped at 111 quotes, knowing I’d have enough to start. Just spending time copying them down made me feel better myself.
Once I had some quotes, the next step was working on the letters for the wall and information pages. I called the middle school wall “Kindness to Go”, while the high school wall was “Motivation to Go”. Some of the library aides assisted with the naming of that one. I made the letters for the middle school wall, and the library aides did the high school one.
The hardest part of putting the wall together was writing up all of the sticky notes that needed to be posted. It took me a couple of days to write down enough for the middle school wall so that it had a good number. I got assistance at the high school with some of the work, so that did help. Some notes are simply text in ink, others have words that stand out with Sharpie, and some have doodles or drawings. There’s no rhyme or reason to how it was done. If a quote seemed like it would benefit from one of those things, then I did it.
The walls at each school are up and running, and staff are invited to contribute. Students can leave their ideas with the library media specialists and they will be placed up after being approved. We are trying to avoid students using the wall for harmful intent while still giving them the opportunity to play a role as well.
I plan to keep updating and adding to the wall as the year goes on. I’m not sure if I will make any changes to the project for second semester. I want to see how it runs for this semester first.