The Project

To celebrate our school’s theme of Hope this year, I am giving my seventh graders permission to pass notes. Hope Notes. But they won’t be passing them in class, and they won’t be passing them to their classmates. They will be sharing their Hope Notes with the world!

Sound too big? Perhaps. So, we’ll just start with our community. The task I have presented to my seventh graders is based on a website I found over the weekend, Hope Revo. It is a very simple, but powerful idea: to spread Hope one note at a time. My students and I will be creating Hope Notes and leaving them wherever we may go. On one side of the note will be a brief message of Hope, and on the other side will be the address to this blog along with a request to contact us, let us know where they found the note and share any reaction they might have.

Students will be placing these notes out in the community where people might find them: on a park bench, on a shelf in a bookstore or library, even on the sink in the bathroom at our local movie theater. After they place their note, I’ve asked my students to take a picture of it to share with us so that we might chronicle this journey.

I told my seventh graders the other day, “Never underestimate the power that a positive word or phrase can have on another human being!” But I’m not sure they really got it. This morning they arrived in the classroom to discover:

You Make the World a Better Place

You Make the World a Better Place

or this:

Believe in You! I do.

Believe in You! I do.

It was when I saw a student leave a note for someone else to find here:

You Will Succeed

You Will Succeed

when I realized they got it! I can’t speak for my students, but their teacher had a wonderfully Hope-Full day!

Full of Hope

Each year our school chooses a theme to focus on throughout the school year. Since I began teaching at CTK we’ve had themes such as Friendship, Service, and Faith (we are a Catholic K-8 school). This year, in case you haven’t guessed, our theme is Hope. I started the year sharing one of my favorite Hope quotes with my students:

“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.”

~Christopher Reeve

This led to a wonderful conversation in which we discussed everything from what the quote meant to us, to our Hopes for our friends and family members. (It amazed me that so few of my new seventh graders mentioned their own Hopes first!)  Our conversation included these words from one of my students:

In our conversation about this quote, here’s what Matthew had to say:

Hope is your left hand and God is your right hand. God is always going to be there to help you, but hope is what drives you. If you are in a bad time, hope can get you out. If you have no hope, you’re going to stay in the same situation. God is your gear shift, but hope is the accelerator and pedal. Hope is what gets you somewhere.

Such amazingly wise words! Thank you, Matthew!

I think it’s going to be a wonderful year!