Be the Reason...

Melissa Amato

I have always been the midnight oil burning, extra assignment taking, "extra" kind of girl.  I love going the extra mile in almost everything that I do.  So when my son's teacher asked if I could put up a bulletin board for their class, I happily obliged.  

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In the weeks before, there was a tragedy that struck Parkland High School in Florida where a student went in and shot up the school leaving 17 students dead and rest of the students and a nation traumatized.  Many walkouts and controversial measures were talked about and done but some schools instead of a walk out, they did a walk up.  As in walk up to another classmate and compliment them.  Some schools even went so far as to give out 17 post its to each student to give to other students in their school that said things like "You're awesome" and "You're smart."  So when it came to me doing a bulletin board, I combined that concept with others I found on pinterest.  All hail the pins!  And thus an active bulletin board was born.  

Made from two plastic black tablecloths, white letters cut out from hand because I don't have a cricut (yet!) and close to 800 neon post it notes.  

Either ask the teacher for the measurements of the bulletin board or go up to the school and measure it yourself before cutting or purchasing anything.  Knowing how big the board is will allow you to better plan out how much material you need. 

So...just to sum it up

Before you get to school:

Print out the letters from your computer.  Cut out those letters.  Hold the cut letters up to the white card stock to cut out letters.  

Take a few post it notes and cut out hearts to staple after you are done with the post it notes.  

I cut out REASON, SMILES, CLASSMATE, BRIGHTEN of black paper and put it over rectangles of neon paper then I glued them all together and taped the backs of them for extra reinforcement.  

Bring with you all letters, post it notes, exacto knife, scissors, stapler, plenty of staples, thumbtacks and holographic border

If you have time, write out your post it notes but be careful as to not lift the note up and expose the sticky side.  The exposed sticky side could dry and make it less effective when you try and put it on the bulletin board.  

When you get to the school:

Take 2 black plastic tablecloths and put them on the bulletin board one at a time.  Unless they have black bulletin board paper in the PTA room which mine did not. Staple them all over to ensure it will stay up and withstand things being taken off of it. 

Staple up the holographic border and cut it as you go to fit the entire bulletin board.

Put up your letters with thumbtacks where you want them to go.  Be sure to step away to see the board in full view to make sure they are centered and where you want them to be.  Once you have them where you want them to be, start stapling them to the board.

Get out your post it notes and start writing your sayings on them like "You're awesome"  "You Rock"  "You're Awesome Sauce."  I had a list in case I blanked and couldn't think of some thing.  Yes, I sat there and wrote out close to 800 individual post it notes and put them on the bulletin board.  In retrospect, I would have done this the night before.  Just be careful because the notes become less sticky if you remove them and put them some place else.   And, I put them in rows.  Putting them willy nilly wherever you want them to go is good in theory but, it drove me bonkers for it not to look orderly.

As an EXTRA: Leave packets of like 20 post it notes for each teacher for each  student to fill out and put back on the board!  

Next: Tell the teacher you are doing the bulletin board and whoever comes by and asks you how the board functions.  Although it is self-explanatory, some may still wonder what to do.  

I found out that within 1 day all the post it notes were taken from the board and given to staff and students.  I was stunned that it only lasted a day but, super stoked that everyone was receptive to the idea and that they acted on it.  In the days that followed, the principal came up to me to thank me and told me that everyone LOVED the idea.  I loved that she loved it and I offered to put more up. She said she would have the kids put up their own.  So, I did one better.  I sent in packets of post it notes for each person in each class of the school to fill out one post it note and put on the board.  That was effective and the kids got to take part.  

I loved this little project and so did the staff and students!  


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