The Power of Positivity

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Shaw Avenue Elementary School students are sharing words of encouragement through the school’s new Positivity Wall. The wall was inspired by research around neuroplasticity, the changes that occur in an individual’s brain throughout their life.

The wall is featured outside of Assistant Principal Andrew Canlé’s office. Students in grades 3-6 have their own section of the wall to write inspirational and uplifting messages. There is also a “Take What You Need and Pass It On” spot where students can fill out a Post-it with words of encouragement for others to take when they need a pick-me-up.

“This is where students write encouraging words for others to take and pass on in an attempt to create student-led unity and cultivate empathetic values such as citizenship and civility,” said Mr. Canlé. “It is also a great mindfulness tool for our Safety Patrol members to refer to when mentoring younger children as a way to further develop social and emotional competencies within our student population and build a strong sense of community!”

The Positivity Wall has been a great success so far. Students are eager to make their mark in the building and help others while practicing social-emotional learning. Many students have already added to or taken a Post-it from the Positivity Wall and have brought it into their classroom as a source of inspiration and motivation.

“It helps me to try my best so that I can do a good job in math, reading or science,” said Shaw Avenue third grader Kyle Lynch.

Kyle's classmate, Chelsea James, said the Positivity Wall has made her feel better and comfortable, adding that the words of encouragement from other students have helped bring the school together.

“It shows that we can work together to make this a nice school,” she said.