Your CREDIT CARD PURCHASE SUPPORTS
A SCHOOL PRINCIPAL!
For every credit card purchase through the links above, school principal Amy Yost receives $100 towards her work as an educator. Please consider paying online to help Amy!
An Interview with Amy Yost, Principal of Sunnyside Elementary School in Shelton, Connecticut:
Where and when have you run the Gratitude Campaign program?
I was introduced to Look for the Good Gratitude Campaign four years ago at the CAS Elementary Leadership Conference held at Sacred Heart University. I had the pleasure of having an in depth conversation with founder, Anne Kubitsky, after her presentation with the student advisors. The decision was easy...we started our first campaign a month later at Sunnyside School. We are now in year four!
What has been your experience?
This campaign has become the fabric of our school culture. Staff, students and parents embraced the campaign, not only as a two week program, but as a philosophy of how we support each other and our community. Our student leaders enjoy running the assembly and creating our morning announcements during the two week campaign. You can find students sharing their gratitude on the spots throughout the school year. Our students look forward to the campaign year after year. In addition, we have seen a decline in office referrals during the campaign and the months following.
What do you like most about the Gratitude Campaign program?
There are so many wonderful components about this campaign, but the “You Matter” letters always move me the most. It demonstrates that one voice, big or small, has the power to change how someone sees themselves and their role in impacting the world.
Why do you think other schools should experience this? How will it improve the school climate?
I believe all schools want to be a welcoming haven for students and staff to explore academically and socially. This campaign supports the philosophy and core values of a what a positive school climate should emulate. Common language and showing appreciation for one another allows learning to take place. It focuses on the “good” stuff that schools need to teach and support. Our staff and students love to share and receive “Kindness” cards. It is one small gesture to say, “I am grateful for you.” Finally, many “You Matter” letters are written about family members. Our Family Gratitude Night allows the letters to be shared with the families and brings our school community closer.
Why have you chosen to be an Ambassador?
This was an easy decision. I have seen the positive impact with all stakeholders - students, staff, parents and community. Who doesn’t want more kindness and gratitude around them? Everyone has the ability to share gratitude, even if they are facing challenging times. It’s a simple way to teach people that hope is just around the corner. Reflecting on gratitude around you, offers one the ability to move forward.
How will the money you earn from being an Ambassador support your work as an educator?
Over the past few years, supporting our students socially and emotionally has become more challenging. We look for ways to intertwine core values and philosophies for our students to have a deeper understanding of purpose. Our school has developed a “Cozy Cove” for students to enhance coping skills and to reset for a positive day. Funding would benefit materials for this space and books utilized by both our support staff and classroom teachers. We also would like to expand activities and programming covering anti-bullying and emotional regulation. The Look for the Good Campaign is top on our list each year.