J. Taylor Finley Middle School’s faculty and staff is engaged in a campaign to enhance the positive self-image of students, changing their mindsets with inspiring messages posted around the building.
“During the summer of 2017, Marybeth Stahl saw a Facebook post from a middle school in the Midwest,” said Finley Principal John Amato, explaining the origins of the new initiative. “Some of the staff there began a project to enhance positive self-image for students, particularly female students. They transformed the girls’ restroom from drab space into a place where girls would view themselves as confident, beautiful people. They placed signs on the walls so that every girl that walked in would have no choice but to see the positive self- image signs.”
Teachers Jennifer DiMattei, Marybeth Stahl and
Mary DiBenedetto under one of the signs they installed.
Several Finley female staff members talked it over and decided they wanted to pursue a similar project at their own school. They met with Mr. Amato who loved the idea and supplied some funding to get started.
“The ladies got some paint, ordered the signs and off they went,” Mr. Amato said. “In one week the restroom was transformed into a place designed to make students feel special. English teacher Jennifer DiMattei thought they needed more funding to expand the project building-wide. She posted the story on a funding site and Macy’s donated $500 for the project.”
New signs have been posted at strategic locations around the building. The small project has grown into a much larger one that has spread throughout the school.