When eighth-graders arrived at Oak View Middle School April 17, they expected an ordinary day with ordinary teachers, ordinary classmates and ordinary stuff going on. But when they saw their lockers, those students knew something not so ordinary had taken place overnight.
As they approached their lockers that morning, each one of the more than 400 Oak View Middle School eighth-graders was greeted with a little note of encouragement and affirmation, hand-written on colorful heart-shaped paper and taped to their locker door.
“You’re worth it!”
“Be true to yourself!”
“Don’t lose hope!”
“You are loved!”
Those words seemed to echo down the hallways that Thursday morning.
And students seemed to take those encouraging words straight to heart, some pinning the paper message on to their clothing and wearing it like a badge of honor, love and acceptance all day long.
But no one knows who conducted those random acts of kindness. No one, that is, except assistant principal Beth Wilkie who granted the message-makers the permission they sought to come to school early, stay late and sometimes hide in her office to get the messages made without being discovered.
“They wanted to do a random act of kindness and they wanted to remain anonymous. It was just four eighth-graders who wanted to do something nice, something encouraging for their classmates,” said Wilkie, who acknowledged that she got supplies for the students, enlisted the help of a parent volunteer to run the paper cutter, and let students in the building so that they could complete the act.
“But this was all their doing, their idea, their gift,” she said.
And that made for one not so ordinary day at Oak View Middle School.
Sue Austreng is at firstname.lastname@example.org