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Telling Each Other 'You Matter'

May 7, 2014, 7:15 AM by Stephanie Gregory

Telling Each Other 'You Matter'
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

For many of us, we don't say encouraging things as often as we would like. A group of students at Edison Middle School noticed that and decided to do something about it. That's why they started the “You Matter” campaign to tell each other they matter.

Seventh graders Staci Higgins and Caitlyn Dwyer sit over uplifting "You Matter" cards. The girls wanted to lift spirits at school and that's how they came up with the idea.

"All and all, I just love making people happy and putting it up on the lockers gave me this overwhelming sense of satisfaction," Higgins said.

"It makes me feel awesome to see kids with smiles on their faces all day because they got just one note that make them feel so much better," Dwyer said.

Earlier in the year the girls went to their assistant principal and asked how they could encourage others in the school, that's how they came up with the "You Matter" cards. Students, teachers, and staff members can go online, fill out a form with who they want to encourage, and twice a week, before school starts, these girls post the colorful notes on lockers or doors.

"It is so encouraging to come into school and see all the bright colors hanging on the lockers and to see a child's face when they approach their locker for the first time and see they have a You Matter card," Assistant Principal Tracy Vik said.

Since the cards have taken over Edison Middle School, the students say morale in school has changed.

"Good vibes just float around the whole school, the hallway is lit up with bright pretty colors, it's not that boring hallway you used to see," Higgins said.

"I would probably send five a day to all my friends because they are my friends and I want them to feel good about themselves," Dwyer said.

Vik says people that don't often get a pat on the back, do now, and teachers, students, and staff are feeling more empowered in the hallways.

"Kids that who often aren't recognized, maybe they aren't the highest scholar or best athlete but kids are getting recognized through this and they are getting recognized from their peers and by their teachers and other staff members in the building as well," Vik said.

As for keeping this going, the girls say they want to post these notes well into their eighth grade year.

"I'm definitely doing this next year, it's worth it waking up in the morning," Higgins said.

The girls post about 500 cards every week and so far they have handed out more than 2,500 cards.

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