Today (June 16), if you are traveling from Horizon Middle School (2671 Thornton Road) east on Thornton Road and then continuing south on Vista Drive to Fourth Avenue, you’ll see “Positive Messages for Our Community” signs.
Mr. Terry Diffley’s seventh grade advisory class from Horizon Middle School has worked this spring to design and implement aluminum signs that provide 10 positive messages. Class members have worked with Safety Signs, Inc. to design the signs, and the City of Ferndale officials and Puget Sound Energy officials for permissions to install the signs. The signs will be spread out along Thornton and Vista on existing telephone poles.
As sixth graders last year, the advisory class took some inspiration from signs they had seen in different communities around our nation that expressed simple, but very positive messages. They hand painted signs on cardboard to post in the hallways of Horizon Middle School, with each sign carrying a different positive message. Some were: “Big School—Big Smile,” “Be Brave—And Wave,” and “Make Friends—Stay Friends.”
This year, as seventh graders, the Advisory’s theme has been community service. “We applied for, and received a grant from Project Neighborly, through the Whatcom Community Foundation. Our grant was called ‘Positive Messages for Our Community,’ with the idea of extending this idea with more permanent signs placed out in our larger Ferndale community. The grant mostly covered the expense of having professional-grade aluminum signs made, with a similar motif, and positive messages,” Diffley said. The idea of Horizon Positive Messages is to help remind people to stay positive, and to share that positivity with others in our community.
This project empowers our young learners, 13 year olds, by giving them the real-life experience of designing this project, interacting with a professional sign company and other entity officials. It fosters a mindset for students that they are part of the larger community and can “effect change.” With a focus on positive messages in public spaces, the signs will work to encourage a positive shift in attitude, and generate interest and conversation from citizens who encounter them.
Thank you to Project Neighborly for partnering with us to provide funding for this project.
For more information contact:
Horizon Middle School Principal Faye Britt, 360.383.9850, firstname.lastname@example.org
Horizon Middle School Teacher Terry Diffley, 360.383.9874, email@example.com
Director of Communications Tammy Bengen, 360.383.9207, firstname.lastname@example.org