BOUNTIFUL - “Be awesome!” “Way to come to school!” “Nice shoes.” “Get excited!” “Yea, you made it back!” “Be amazing!”
Students dragging in the door on an early Wednesday morning were greeted with welcoming words and a gauntlet of high fives that brightened expressions, in a new tradition that some hope will spread.
“We personally do not like Wednesdays and we noticed that the kids don’t like Wednesdays,” said Steve Barb, the South Davis Junior High teacher that started it all.
“So we started High-Five Wednesdays,” he said. “We say nice and awesome things to the kids, tell them that they’re amazing, they’re wonderful, we appreciate them coming to school and being there. I personally like Wednesdays now.”
Students and fellow organizer, John Hale, line the entrance just inside the door at South Davis, and some students have asked why they aren’t at more doors, according to Chris Plowman, school secretary.
“The first couple of weeks kids kind of avoided them, with shy looks on their faces,” she said. “Now a lot look forward to it and ask how come they’re not at the other doors.
Starting the day with such a greeting is a good thing, according to Brooklyn.
“Because you know that people care about you and like you,” she said.
Symone said she was born happy, but likes to participate with other students.
“It just kind of encourages people,” she said.
August shared a similar sentiment.
“It’s the middle of the week, people are getting tired,” he said. “This gets people excited for Wednesday. It makes them happy.”
Just to the side of the student greeters hangs a sign that quotes Ghandi: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Anti-bullying has been a focus at South Davis this year.
“Little drops of kindness fills people’s buckets,” said Barb, and incidents of school violence in the country prove the need for that.
“We need to create a culture that battles against that violence,” he said. “Kids will fill themselves with something, and it’s better to fill it with good stuff rather than anger or hate or rage. This is a way to bring in the good stuff.”
Principal Jeff Jorgensen said the morning welcome is an example of how teachers work to make the school a welcoming place for kids.
“It’s great that when kids show up in the morning, the first thing they see is a welcoming face,” he said.
But the lessons don’t end there. According to Barb, right after “High Five Wednesdays,” they hold “Wash Hands Wednesdays.”