Photo: Words of kindness spread through the halls of Kaneland High School this past week with brightly colored post-it notes displayed on each of the students lockers. Inspiring, quirky and cute uplifting phrases were written with the intent to encourage each student of the acts of Kindness in Kaneland. Kaneland senior Bryanna Stoiber (right) came up with the idea, and was helped by fellow seniors Riley Coyle (left to center) and Lanie Callaghan, and sophomore Jack Coyle (not pictured). Photo by Lynn Logan
KHS students greeted by warm messages
That was the message Maddie Heinzer, a Kaneland High School senior, recently found on a Post-it note placed on her locker.
“I thought it was very cute,” Heinzer said. “And I thought it was good how somebody put that much effort to even try to bring a smile to someone’s face.”
“They were sick and tired of hearing people calling themselves not beautiful and not pretty and just being down all the time,” Stoiber said. “So, I just kind of had the idea of it being like something in the positive. Especially at school, it feels like there’s so much negativity.”
Stoiber and her friends, seniors Lanie Callaghan and Riley Coyle, worked together to create positive messages. Coyle recruited “little brother” Jack Coyle, a sophomore, to help.
“We just want students to realize that they don’t know what’s going on in everyone’s life,” Jack said. “Maybe they seem happy at school, but really, you don’t know what’s going on at home or anything. So even the smallest compliment about how their hair looks that day or that you like their outfit can improve someone’s outlook.”
According to Stoiber, the group made 1,400 Post-it messages. They stuck rainbow colors of pink, green, yellow and blue on the lockers of all 1,332 Kaneland High School students. The extra notes went on some KHS staff members’ doors.
Messages found along the hallways included: “You’re cuter than a kangaroo in a sweater”; “You definitely know the difference between your and you’re”; “Your opinion matters”; “Chuck Norris wishes he was you”; “Your smile is beautiful”; and “You are loved.”
Diane McFarlin, assistant principal at Kaneland High School, called the students’ actions “stunning.” It was McFarlin who gave the students the green light to put up positive messages around the high school.
“They really wanted to do this and make a difference,” McFarlin said. “And I thought, ‘Holy cow. That’s just awesome.’”
Callaghan would like students to get something out of reading the messages.
“I hope they realize that a compliment can go a really long way,” she said. “And realize that we put a lot of effort into just like making their day a little bit brighter.”
Senior Mitch Bateman, who was recently named Mr. Kaneland 2014, did get something out of his message, which read, “At least you’re not in the ‘Hunger Games.’
“It was random,” Bateman said. “But I got a laugh out of it. So I was pretty happy with it.”