Lewiston High School senior Amino Dagane stops to read the messages that were left on each locker by members of the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council on Friday morning. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

LEWISTON — There were lots of smiles at Lewiston High School Friday morning as the day got under way.

Positive messages on sticky notes were left on each locker at Lewiston High School. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

On every single locker for each of the 1,400 students was a sticky note with a positive message.

The notes read:

“If you’re reading this, I love you.”

“Great job.”

“Most obstacles melt away when we make up our minds to walk boldly through them.”

“You are enough just as you are.”

“HOPE: hold on, pain ends.”

Positive messages on sticky notes were left on each locker at Lewiston High School. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Don’t sell yourself short.”

“Be you.”

“You look great.”

Student Steven Gagnon, 16, said he appreciated the affirming notes that prompted not only happiness, but reflection.

“They’re positive, nice,” Gagnon said. “If you’re having a bad morning, you come here and see this, it makes you feel good.”

He pointed to one note that read: “Believe in yourself.” It’s a good message, he said. “Because if you don’t believe in yourself,  you’re not going to have that happiness. If you do believe in yourself, you will be happier and love your life more.”

A few years ago a group left positive notes in the girls’ bathroom, said student Amino Dagane, 18. She was glad to see a bigger, similar movement. “I think this is cool. Some people are feeling low. Seeing these notes helps them remember they’re not alone and other people are supporting them.”

One note she liked read: “Enjoy your own life.” Some people tend to follow others, she said. “If you keep on doing what other people are doing you’re never find your true self.”

Looking at all the notes on lockers while wearing a broad smile, teacher Sabrin Abdelgawwad held up her phone to take photos and video.

“It’s amazing!” said Abdelgawwad, an exchange teacher from Egypt who teaches Arabic. When she walked into school she was surprised by all the notes. “I kept reading all of them. It’s a very positive thing to do for the students to make their day.”

Josh County, 19, said he too was surprised when he hundreds of lockers with notes. “It’s kind of cool.”

Audri Hilts, 14, read two notes aloud. “You look good today,” and “A person can stand a lot if they can stand themselves.”

Arabic teacher Sabrin Abdelgawwad reacts to the positive messages left on each locker at Lewiston High School on Friday. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

“It’s sweet that people took the time to do this,” Hilts said. All of the notes are good, agreed Narya Gagnon, 14. “They’re positive, which is helpful. We need more positivity.”

The “Lock in Your Kindness” project was organized by the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council, high school students who work with the city government. Thursday night people of all ages came together in the school library to write the notes, then attached them to rows and rows of lockers.

LYAC member Christine Chasse, 18, was delighted with the results. Before school started she walked the halls and observed.

Groups of students were huddled around lockers “smiling and laughing,” she said. “It was good to make someone’s day.”

One goal was to decrease bullying and improve the school’s climate. Often people who pick on others are unhappy and disappointed in themselves, Chasse said. “The notes help them realize you really do affect everyone in life.”

High School Principal Jake Langlais praised the community’s willing participation, the notes, and how they were received Friday.

Things like this are important not only for those who wrote the notes and those receiving the notes, but for the school’s culture, Langlais said. “This reminds students we care. Our community cares. These messages on lockers are for everyone.”

Members of the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council made positive sticky note messages Thursday evening for each locker at Lewiston High School. Students found the notes when the school doors opened at 7:15 a.m. Friday. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover


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