Brightly colored sticky notes are starting to envelop Principal Mark Gardner’s office window. They each carry small messages detailing acts of kindness involving the Pinewood community. A multitude of flower-shaped papers with birthdays on them fill a bulletin board to the left of the gym entrance. “The Board of Kindness” and “The Birthday Board” are two of the new additions at Pinewood aimed at cultivating positivity.
Looking for a way to express the true kindness of students, the faculty added a stack of sticky notes and pens in a box in front of the window of Gardner’s office, and The Board of Kindness was born.
“Mr. Bruno came up with the idea of the birthday board as well as the kindness board, and he nicely made it a ‘Gardner’s board’ since they’re using my window to host it,” Gardner said.
The Birthday Board had a similar start: as another way for everyone on campus to connect.
“Every year we’ve kind of discussed recognizing birthdays,” activities director Jackee Bruno said. “Since one of the goals this year is campus connectivity and recognition, just bringing people together, I figured putting birthdays out there can’t hurt.”
In general, students have had a very positive view of both boards.
“A birthday is something you celebrate and people could find your birthday and be happy about it. It just spreads kindness,” freshman Nate George said.
“I think [The Kindness Board] will probably help encourage people to acknowledge the good that’s already happening,” junior Nicole Saltzman said.
Some students and faculty, however, have a few suggestions to improve the boards even more. For instance, the location of The Birthday Board has been a bit inconvenient.
“I think advertising The Birthday Board a bit more or putting it somewhere more accessible [would be helpful], since not everyone has a class up those stairs. If we could, then we should maybe move it somewhere else,” senior Zarin Mohsenin said.
Many students, however, including Mohsenin herself, agree that overall, the boards will have a positive impact on the school.
“I think they definitely contribute to Pinewood’s sense of community, which is important… [The board] gives everyone, even if you’re not super involved in the school…this thing where you’re part of Pinewood,” Mohsenin said.