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Leto High School’s student-run kindness campaign shows surprising results

“Take What You Need” Post-it wall is a hit
kindness campaign Leto High School
Posted at 3:27 AM, Feb 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-26 05:36:58-05

TAMPA, Fla. — A surprising thing happened when “positive” Post-it notes mysteriously appeared on lockers at Leto High School last week.

Custodians were ready for the floors to be littered with the multi-colored squares.

But the Post-its — with “Choose Happy” and “You Are Worthy” scribbled on them — stayed on the lockers.

So much for cynical teenagers.

RELATED: 'Kindness' rules in Tampa Bay area schools as kid therapy for the modern student

“People are really taking these to heart,” says senior Mike Threatt, one of the voices behind the Leto High kindness campaign. “It’s really helping people.”

Threatt is a star athlete at Leto. He is also a foster kid who knows all too well the ups-and-downs of life.

“Me, coming from a tough place in my life, I know people can always use a positive message,” says Mike.

Leto’s kindness movement originated in teacher Holly Ewing’s leadership class as a response to the anniversary of the Parkland shootings.

RELATED: Hillel Academy students learn value of kindness, compassion for others

Ewing’s uplifting crew is in charge of school spirit.

“Sometimes the response isn’t what we hoped, but in this case, it really was,” says student Tia Jiran.

Another kindness hot-spot at Leto is the colorful “Take What You Need” wall. Dozens and dozens of Post-It messages that students can select to boost their day.

Each includes an affirmation, compliment or cheeky joke like “Have you been working out?” and “You’ve stolen a pizza my heart.”

“You see them reading each one individually and taking what they need,” says Maisy McIntosh, a student who helps restock this wall of happiness.