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Service project idea: Gratitude sticky notes

Practicing gratitude on a daily basis isn’t just polite—it’s an important advantage for both adults and students. According to Project Happiness’ research, people who practice gratitude report greater life satisfaction, more positive emotion and a greater connection to their communities. The organization’s studies also suggest that students feel better about their school, and teachers feel more satisfied and accomplished, and less emotionally exhausted.

Here is a “gratitude activity” that’s simple enough to help make gratitude a part of everyday life. And your club can do it at a meeting! You’ll just need markers and sticky notes.

  • Discuss. You and your club members should share ideas on the benefits of practicing gratitude and ways that each member can incorporate more gratitude into their lives. 
  • Brainstorm. The club officers can introduce the idea of showing gratitude to those around them in the school. The officers should then lead a brainstorming session to identify all the people who help students have a good experience in school. (This list can include people inside and outside the school: the lunch staff, the janitors, the mailman, the principal, secretaries, school nurse, guidance counselor, and even fellow students.) 
  • Create. Give each member one or more sticky notes to write something that makes them grateful for about one or more of the people identified in the brainstorming session.
  • Deliver. The club members should then “deliver” the sticky notes by placing them where the person will see it (e.g., a locker, a phone, a cleaning cart). 
  • Reflect. Afterward, the club can reflect on this project by completing this gratitude reflection piece