For the last two months, eighth graders Avital D., Zohar F., and Amelia L. have dedicated their Friday afternoon elective period to furthering the culture of kindness in the middle school. For an hour each week (and sometimes additional time after school), these students write positive notes of affirmation on Post-it notes and put them up around the middle school wing for their peers to see. “Their empathy and compassion for their peers epitomizes our community values and we are grateful for the enrichment they provide Brandeis,” exclaims Director of Middle School Dr. Sivan Tarle. The students’ hope is that their peers will take an affirmation Post-it note with which they connect and share it with a friend who they feel could use the positive thought. The students’ goal with this project is to kick-start a culture of compliments, of openly recognizing the goodness in others. The notes include messages like "You are worth it," "Try to be a rainbow in some else’s cloud," and "Never forget that you can."
Adds Dr. Tarle, “Among the other work our middle schoolers do, finding their voice and using it for greater good is always encouraged! My daily interactions with students are often marked by moments of awe and appreciation for who they are and what they bring to our community. Avital, Zohar, and Amelia planted themselves in my office for an hour each week talking about how they wanted to encourage more positive talk among their peers. Talk about making it matter!”