By Sara Brown
Around the hallways of the Garfield Middle School are tiny notes of encouragement. Some say “You’re Beautiful” while others simply say “Smile.”
Erik Halvorsen’s 6th grade advisory class is behind the notes. It’s a Hope Notes campaign, and the objective is to send a little positivity around with happy and inspiring messages. Halvorsen’s class has been spreading joy now for over a month. The students write down their own inspiring messages and put them in all areas of the school.
“I came across the idea online and thought it would be something fun to try with my class,” Halvorsen said.
“It’s really fun to do,” Ouissal Ait El Hadj said. “Sometimes there is drama going on, and hopefully seeing these notes can make someone’s day.”
“If someone is nervous about taking a test or just having a bad day, these could make them feel better,” Camilla Aichfakir added.
The students write down whatever they think would make someone happy. “I write things like ‘you’re beautiful’ or ‘keep on going.’” Angel Acosta said. “They are motivational and very beautiful.”
The notes have been making a positive impact on the other students. “My friend told me one day she was having a bad day, and she saw one of the notes and it made her smile,” Ashley Barnes said.
Teachers have also noticed the encouraging notes around the school. “I saw one of my teachers looking at them, and she picked it up and was like ‘Oh my gosh, this is cool,’” Acosta said.
One of the fun aspects of the project is placing the notes where people wouldn’t expect them.
The notes have been placed on windows, murals, lunch floors, and more unexpected places.
“I put one in the bathroom, right above the toilet,” Robert Ancillo joked.
“I placed mine on an exit sign,” Acosta added.
However, some of the notes have been ripped down. “If they get ripped down then what is the point,” Yahaira Angel asked.
“You have to be persistent,” Halvorsen responded.
Most of the students agreed that they plan to keep making the Hope Notes.
“I like making people feel happy,” Acosta said.