As part of a school project, Bella realized that many people feel left out on Valentine’s Day, which traditionally celebrates love for and relationshipswith others. While not opposed to celebrating Valentine’s Day, Bella started thinking about ways to make the holiday more inclusive – to make it a happier day for those who are lonely.
normal'>After giving the idea some thought, Bella decided to do something about it. She put her idea down on paper, which helped her clarify the concept. She wrote, “I am not trying to do away with the traditions of Valentine's Day. I am simply hoping that everyone in my community can take a moment or two on this day to tell someone how important they are, how they have helped them in some way, or just thank them for always being there. This is a day for you to recognize people you are thankful for, or maybe even to get together with a group of friends and enjoy each other’s company. February 14th can really get you down if you are not in a relationship. The good news is, even if you are not in a relationship, we want you to know that you matter to someone, and that is the purpose of Everybody
Bella reached out to Frankfort Mayor Bill May for a helping hand, presenting the idea to the Mayor during a recent meeting. He bought right in. In fact, he visite Hearn Elementary School this morning to sign a proclamation declaring February 14 as “Everybody Matters Day” in Frankfort.
Meanwhile, Bella and her teacher at Hearn, Mrs. Susan Hellard, have produced a video (featuring students Sarah (Lexi) Abbott of FCHS and Angela Negron, Lukas Negron and Kara Tucker of WHHS), a web site, and other materials to invite the other 12 Franklin County schools, the Frankfort Independent Schools, Kentucky State University, and area businesses to participate in celebrating Everybody Matters Day.
“This has been a great lesson for Bella and our other students about civic involvement and the process for causing change,” said Mrs. Hellard. “I am really proud of her and happy to support her through this monumental task of making everyone feel that they matter to someone.”
According to Mrs. Hellard, the project
originated because her class was working with PenPal Schools, an organization that connects students
around the world to learn together. The students were asked to make up a secular holiday. “There was a lot of discussion among the kids about how to create a secular holiday. They did lots of research, asked questions and developed a plan, and here we are!”
course, Everybody Matters Day will be celebrated in a big way at Hearn
Elementary. Before Feb. 14, every classroom will be given
an envelope. Teachers will encourage students to write kind words about each
other and place them in the envelopes. A few days before Feb. 14, a group of 5th
-graders will collect the envelopes to make sure every student in every class
receives a note. Any student who does not have a note will get a note written
by a 5th grader.
Bella will be recognized later in January by PenPal Schools as their Student of the Week for her “Commitment to Academic Excellence,” and she will be featured in their blog and on their website.
Read more about Everybody Matters Day in the State-Journal.
Follow @EvrybdyMttrsDay and #EverybodyMatters on Twitter.
You can also order Everybody Matters Day tee shirts for just $7.50 from the Hearn PTA!