Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

March 12, 2014

Lockport students send out uplifting messages

BY JOE OLENICK joe.olenick@lockportjournal.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A group of Lockport High School students are doing something noteworthy by spreading positive comments all over the place. Literally.

When students arrived Tuesday, they found Post-It notes plastered throughout the building on doors, mirrors and the majority of the school’s 2,500 lockers. On the notes were written positive phrases, compliments such as “you’re a beauty” or comments like “today is a gift.”

Lockport’s S.A.D.D. group, Students Against Destructive Decisions, led the school’s execution of Operation Beautiful. And the kids are hoping it goes beyond the school’s walls and into the community, said teacher Elena Wozniak.

Operation Beautiful is an initiative that encourages people to write something positive and complimentary on a small note and post it somewhere public. The idea started in 2009 by Caitlin Boyle, whose goal was to empower teens and help end negative self-talk by replacing it with positive thinking and self confidence.

Over time, Operation Beautiful has seen some national exposure. The program has appeared on The Today Show and the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Nicole Pidanick and Shianne Brancato, two Lockport students were instrumental in bringing Operation Beautiful to Lockport, Wozniak said. Bulletin boards were set up last year, but this was the first time the operation spread throughout the whole school.

”They’ve been so active,” she said.

S.A.D.D. president Allen Hoste, 18, said 15 students spent five hours Monday night posting the notes everywhere they could in the school. By Tuesday afternoon the vast majority of notes were still up, with even more being posted as the day went on.

”It’s a powerful campaign,” Hoste said. “The group did a good job.”

Becky Bronson, a teacher and S.A.D.D. adviser, said the goal was to extend the message of Operation Beautiful to the entire school. And students seemed to appreciate the effort.

”I heard one student say, ‘I wish there were message on my locker every day,’” Bronson said.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.