- Associated Press - Monday, February 26, 2018

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - An anonymous note on a glass panel at Spartanburg Day School thanks a 12th-grade student for helping a classmate get through middle school.

It’s one of many colorful, hand-written notes covering glass surfaces at Spartanburg Day as part of the school’s Month of Gratitude project. The effort encourages students to write heartfelt messages to their classmates, teachers and anyone else who has encouraged them or done something significant in their lives.

“That (message) struck me as so powerful, that they carried that with them through middle school,” said Paige Phillips, the upper school dean of students at Spartanburg Day.

Colorful ink covers nearly every inch of the glass surfaces at the school with thank-yous to coaches, teachers and friends for the support they’ve shown over the years.

Phillips kick-started the Month of Gratitude after the school was affected by several deaths.

“Things were a little less than joyful around here for a while,” she said.

Phillips and student government representatives worked together to come up with a way to have a positive impact on the school community.

And, thanks to the combination of plentiful glass surfaces and erasable markers, the project was born.

“I hoped it would (have an impact). We took a bit of a risk when you give students glass and markers, though,” Phillips said.

Students took the project well, posting sincere messages of gratitude around the building.

Maisie MacMullan, a senior, wrote her first note to her classmates as they look ahead to graduation and college.

“I wrote thank-yous to people who really impacted me positively,” she said. “I wouldn’t be where I am without their love and support.”

Phillips said she was pleasantly surprised by how many students took time to write thoughtful, honest and sometimes revealing messages.

“I’m proud of them to step away and think about their interactions in an intentional way,” she said. “I’ve been blown away by how the kids and adults have embraced it.”

Sara McCown, also a senior, said she used the opportunity to say something she may not have thought to say before.

She also spearheaded an effort to say the messages out loud during meetings of the senior class each school morning.

“You kind of take it for granted and forget to say thank you to those you’re around every day,” she said.


Information from: Herald-Journal, http://www.goupstate.com/

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