It started almost five years ago in Bancroft and the positive message continues today.

The “Say and Do Nice Things” will run for a fifth year on November 19th. The campaign was thought-up after feedback from students at North Hastings High School. “Overwhelmingly students said that just simple welcoming behaviours like smiling or saying hi would make a huge difference in how they felt at school,” Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer with the School Board tells My Bancroft Now. From there, Donnell says more research was done and the “Say and Do Nice Things” campaign was born in fall 2014.

For the past three years, the campaign was based around saying one nice thing, but last year that changed. Donnell says they opened it up to make it more action-oriented. “That was a way to get people thinking of what they can do wherever they are to be a good person, to be accepting of other people, to be a friend, to treat people they way want would want to be treated,” she says.

“Positive learning environments are essential for students to learn, for employees to go to work, for families to be accepted into and feel comfortable at a school and for community partners to go into a school and engage with students,” Donnell says. She added that she wants school to be welcoming and inclusive. “It’s something we strive for every single day,” Donnell says.

On paper, the campaign only runs for one day opposite the provincial Bullying Awareness and Prevention week, but Donnell says it’s more than just a one day campaign. “For this, it’s not a one-week thing or a one-day thing, say and do nice things can happen all year long,” she says. Donnell adds that some schools have taken the campaign outside the school. One school in Belleville created a Superhero campaign where students go around spreading positivity in the community. She says another school went through the community handing out candy. “I’m always amazed by the enthusiasm that our schools have for this,” she says.

“Say and Do Nice Things” day is November 19th, while the provincial Bullying Awareness and Prevention week runs from the 19th until the 23rd.

To learn about what will be done during the campaign by students, go to the School Board’s website.