Sticky notes promote acts of kindness in schools

SPPRAK, a not-for-profit program in Terre Haute, Ind., literally 'notes' random acts of kindness by students, teachers, and staff.

Joseph C. Garza/The Tribune-Star/AP
Students at Dixie Bee Elementary School in Terre Haute, Ind., post positive messages about fellow classmates and the school's staff. SPPRAK, a local not-for-profit, unveiled a new program this week that literally 'notes' random acts of kindness by students, teachers, and staff.

Kids love receiving positive feedback, and a group calling itself Special People Performing Random Acts of Kindness — SPPRAK for short — is helping them get plenty of it.

SPPRAK, a not-for-profit in Terre Haute, Ind., unveiled a new program Feb. 28 at Dixie Bee Elementary School that literally "notes" random acts of kindness by students, teachers, and staff.

By placing sticky notes on a large banner, students at Dixie Bee joined the "SPPRAK Pack" campaign. Similar banners and SPPRAK-provided sticky notes are expected to be in all 28 Vigo County (Ind.) schools within the next couple of weeks, SPPRAK officials said.

Each sticky note represented something kind a student at the school had done.

"Ajay held the door for everybody," stated one sticky note, written by a thankful Dixie Bee student. "Priscilla helped me draw a picture," stated another.

Other notes called attention to students who shared their lunches, helped put away "recess games," or in other ways showed kindness during the course of the day.

In just a few seconds, Dixie Bee students had posted about two-dozen "random acts of kindness" on the banner, which is in the school's front hallway.

"We're honored to be a part of this program," said Mika Cassell, principal of Dixie Bee, a southern Vigo County elementary school. Cassell was joined at the program launch by members of the Dixie Bee student council, Vigo County School Superintendent Danny Tanoos, and other school and school corporation officials.

Performing random acts of kindness "starts when they're young and just continues to grow," said Robin Heng, who founded SPPRAK along with Kim Grubb and Susan Short. While the program is currently limited to Vigo County public schools, "We'd like to see this grow," she told the Tribune-Star.

SPPRAK is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to improve the Wabash Valley community by supporting groups that can use extra funding. The organization has worked to reduce graffiti in Terre Haute and has raised money for the purchase of a "bite suit" for the Terre Haute Police Department K-9 unit.

Other organizations assisted by SPPRAK since its founding in 2009 include the 14th and Chestnut Community Center, Light House Mission, Happiness Bag, and Altrusa International.

Duke Energy, Indiana American Water Co., Woodburn Graphics, and MillerWhite Marketing all helped bring about the "Join the SPPRAK Pack" program, Heng said.

To learn more about SPPRAK, visit their Facebook page or send them an email at spprak(at)yahoo.com.

• Information from: Tribune-Star, http://www.tribstar.com.

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