Southern IL high school leaves notes to encourage positivity

ELKVILLE, IL (KFVS) - A Jackson County school starts a movement of kindness in the wake of this week's National School walkout. It's a small gesture making a huge difference with students and encouraging positivity among the teens.

Elverado High School student Tori Ehlers was ecstatic about the notes she wrote for others.

"As soon as the bell rang that they saw them on their lockers, immediately students were like 'Oh my gosh I didn't know people that people thought that about me, I didn't know people actually noticed that," Ehlers.

One of the notes she wrote to the foreign exchange student said, "Thanks for always being my BFF, I appreciate you more than you ever know."

All of the students at Elverado started a positive movement of kindness after participating in the National Walk Out.

"It's important that we take a stand, and that we are realize that we are a school that it can happen to and we need to prevent that as much as possible," Ehlers said.

With just a sticky note and pen,  they shared thoughtful notes with their peers, especially ones they don't talk to as much. One note read, "YOUR OPINIONS MATTER" and another said, "KEEP YOUR HEAD HIGH".

One of the teachers, Krissy O'Dell, is also the organizer.

"We all need those pick me ups, we all need that moment of wow like we are humans," said O'Dell. "This isn't just us going through the motions that we are here to do more than just teach these kids literature and math, that we're here to make a difference in our community."

The students go to their lockers in between classes, before and after school to find new notes sometimes, like student Abby Jescke.

"You don't really expect it, like expect people to tell you how they feel because they don't usually because we are caught up going to our classes and doing our work, but then once you see that people actually get the chance to tell you have the feel," Jescke. So it was great it made me so happy when I saw it."

It started a domino-effect throughout the entire school.

"Once we started doing that the whole mood and school changed, everybody was happier and more-nice and more positive, it was awesome," said Jescke.

"I hope that kindness is the movement we are spreading," Ehlers said. "And I hope that kindness is the thing that gets bigger."

The students plan to start a Community outreach committee to keep up these acts of kindness.

Photos of the notes were posted on the school district's Facebook page.

This was following Wednesday's National School Walkout Day.

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