Thursday, February 28, 2013

Send a HOPE-ing Hand

After watching the hope and love spread through the student body at our high school, I am so excited to share another update about the next steps on this phenomenal journey!  Now that the majority of students are on board and enjoying the momentum of this adventure, they have decided to share their positive energy with the adults in their life by letting them know how much they have made a difference!  Starting this evening, all students and alumni are being encouraged to send HOPE-ing hands to the adults who have encouraged them and given them HOPE.  Here is the picture and message that is now going around Facebook and Twitter:

"::ATTENTION ALL PV ALUMNI::The current students are in the midst of an exciting adventure and we want all of YOU to get involved! Basically, they started a grassroots movement to spread hope, love, and kindness and we thought all of you might lend a HOPE-ing hand. If a teacher or any person at PV (or any person in your life really) made your life better, please tell them! It would be cool if you could create a personal message by tracing your hand and writing what hope means to you and/or by saying how that person gave you hope or made you feel loved. If you can't mail it or get it to school, just take a picture and send it or post it and I'll take care of the rest! Thank you!! ♥"

Next week, students are also preparing to take their message and their passion for helping others to our middle school and the rest of the schools in our district and they are adding a lot of their own unique pizazz!  The Hope t-shirt sale is going incredibly well and tomorrow students will be able to wear their shirts to school!  Here is a little explanation of the shirt for those of you who were wondering about the symbolism:

Please stay tuned because I have a feeling that this is only the beginning of the amazing shift that is occurring in my school, in my district, and in the world!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

H.O.P.E. Have Only Positive Expectations

When I wrote my first blog post, I definitely did not envision myself adding many follow up posts, especially because I didn't want my original post and project idea to be missed.  However, the magic, excitement, hope and love have grown in so many awesome ways that I have to share a few more of the great things that are happening...

The students are still spreading their positive messages and their actions are incredibly contagious!  Last week, student representatives from various clubs and organizations stood up in front of the entire faculty to share their experiences and their vision for future projects and events.  Aside from being impressed that they chose to speak in front of all of their teachers, their heartfelt gratitude and expression of compassion truly embodied the essence of their movement.

Next Tuesday night, they are planning some great activities for the district wide Night of Unity and I'm sure that event will warrant its own post.  So far, they are planning to show Kid President's "Pep Talk", play Britt Nicole's song "Gold", and have an activity for students to create and wear crowns that will say "I'm worth more than gold!"  While the students work on making crowns, parents and community members can sign Jon Gordon's Positivity Pledge (  Finally, students will be on hand to sell HOPE t-shirts (which can be seen in my profile picture), share information about the service organizations and projects that they are a part of, AND remind everyone involved to have HOPE.

I love my job and my life and these children really ARE our future - I am pleased to report that they have been taught well and they are leading the way! :o)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Amazing Things are Happening!!

I am so happy and grateful to report that I wasn't the only one thinking about leveraging people's passion and talent to spread more love and hope in the world!  After my initial blog post, the students in my school district got to work right away and while they were busy creating, the rest of the world was too!

Some of the magic happening at PV in the past week...

  • Students have created individual projects for various classes that embody messages of hope and love and they have used their individual interests and talents to show their classmates what they can do while allowing them all to feel the hope and love.  So far, students in English class at the high school have danced, sang, created artwork, developed video games, made food, and shared personal stories and pictures and I can't wait to see what other projects pop up in other classes like science and social studies!
  • Students have started an entire initiative to bring the message of hope and love to the rest of the school and the rest of the district (with a little help from #kidpresident) and they don't want to stop there either!
  • Students and advisors from multiple clubs and organizations (SADD, SGA, Key Club, Leo Club, and Diversity Club to name a few) have decided to work together with hope and positivity as a shared goal because they realize that there is more than enough awesome to go around.
  • Organic cross-curricular opportunities are emerging as students from English class run excitedly to their American Government class to plan out the best way to contact politicians to spread the word through government channels.
  • Students who have never been involved in a club, sport, or activity, are finding their voices and actively spreading the message of love and hope because this student-led initiative has no rigid structure or intimidating parameters.
  • Non-honors level students are excited about helping their honors level classmates with a year long project where they will raise awareness and funds for community organizations.
  • Teachers are giving meaningful assignments that allow students to do things like express biological concepts creatively or write letters "For Noah"
  • Community bonds are being strengthened as students decided to adopt a "Pay it Forward" mentality and regularly commit random acts of kindness.
  • My favorite part so far... Administrators, faculty members, and students are united with a shared vision and a shared goal that is infinite in regard to its potential! 

Some of the magic happening locally, nationally, and globally, so far...

  • First and foremost, I have to say that the momentum wouldn't be anywhere near what it is at PV without the amazing viral peptalk by Kid President!  Although I am sure that anyone reading this blog has already seen the video, I recommend watching it at least two (or two hundred) more times because he says the same thing I did, but in a much better (and easier to follow) way! <3
  • I can't give a shout out to Kid President without mentioning Rainn Wilson and one of my favorite books of all time Soul Pancake (Thank you Doug!).  If you don't have the book yet, you definitely need to buy it and you also need to check out the website because it is the mecca for positive and soulful messages on the Internet:
  • A local college student inspired over a thousand people to make Valentine's Day Cards to send love to Sandy Hook Elementary (which was one of my initial goals as well): 
  • High school student, Justin Bachman, is ORGANIZING a "Tolerance Fair" in northern Ohio!
  • An 11 year old boy expressing hope for the future through his passion for organic farming is raising awareness that could help take down a corporate titan that is perpetuating bad nutrition:
I know and believe that so many people, both children and adults, really do want to help make the world a better place and if one little blog entry and one little YouTube video can stir up this much "awesome" in one week, just imagine the ripple effect!  

Thank you for reading this, please keep posting ideas and connections, and make sure you go out and dance a little!