Northern Lights Public Schools says it is pleased to launch its new It Starts with Hope project, which will include a variety of activities and initiatives focusing on hope and the positive impact it has on mental health.
“The events of the past year have highlighted the important role that mental health plays in all of our lives,” said Board Chair Arlene Hrynyk. “Engaging our students in conversations and activities that focus on hope is an important part of the commitment we have made to improving student mental health and wellness.”
In January, Imperial Oil announced that it would be providing $40,000 to NLPS to support the It Starts with Hope project and improve food security.
“We are grateful to Imperial Oil not only for the financial support they are providing but for recognizing the importance of investing in student mental health and the impact that can have in our schools and our communities,” said Hrynyk.
The It Starts with Hope project includes three initiatives that will be launched in conjunction with Mental Health Week (May 3 to 9):
- Signs of Hope – In partnership with Imperial Oil and Thinkwerx, NLPS will be giving away 400 lawn signs featuring messages of hope for people to display in our communities. Anyone can win a sign by sharing an idea about how they or someone else can spread hope in their family, school or community, and then filling out an entry form on our Engage NLPS site. The school board is also encouraging everyone in our communities to share signs of hope during Mental Health Health Week – make your own sign, decorate your windows, create chalk designs on sidewalks, or share a meme or video on social media!
- Stories of Hope – Visitors on our Engage NLPS site can also share their Stories of Hope. This can be something they have done to grow hope in their life, a story about a hope hero, or how hope has impacted them. Get creative and share your story as a video, podcast, poem, song, or art. The school board says it plans to expand on this initiative as they move further along with the It Starts with Hope project.
- Messages of Hope – How far can we spread hope? Students at participating NLPS schools will receive postcards they can use to write messages of hope they can deliver or send to others. Recipients are encouraged to take a photo of the postcard and share it on social media with the hashtag #NLPSHopes to see how far the message can reach and spread them even farther.
Students may also be participating in hope-focused activities specific to the schools they are attending. Additional activities and initiatives are also being planned at the division and school levels for later this year and into the 2021-22 school year.
More details will be shared once plans have been finalized.
From an NLPS press release