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For every credit card purchase through the links above, library media specialist Kari Yacawych receives $100 towards her work as an educator. Please consider paying online to help Kari!
An Interview with Kari Yacawych, Library Media Specialist at Sunnyside Elementary School in Shelton, Connecticut:
Where and when have you run the Gratitude Campaign program?
Sunnyside Elementary School, since 2016
What has been your experience?
I have found the experience rewarding for both students and staff. Since this is a school wide program, it reaches everyone. The climate of the entire school improves.
What do you like most about the Gratitude Campaign program?
My favorite part of the program is the Gratitude Wall. I am fortunate to house the wall in my library and read them as they are added to the wall. Some make me laugh and some bring tears to my eyes.
Why do you think other schools should experience this? How will it improve the school climate?
All schools would like to see school climate improve. This program has everything needed to make that a reality. As a participant in the program, I have seen students exchanging kindness cards and going out of their way to step on the spot. Yesterday, I was walking by a boy in the hallway, we smiled at each other, he stepped on the spot and said, “I am grateful for you.” It made my day. It becomes a natural part of daily routines. After the ten days, students continue to appreciate each other and turn crabby thoughts around.
Why have you chosen to be an Ambassador?
I have witnessed the effect of the program. I believe each part of the program allows students to recognize gratitude in their lives. Even if students are experiencing sadness and difficult times, I have seen this program offer them hope.
How will the money you earn from being an Ambassador support your work as an educator?
As the school library media specialist, I purchase books to share with the whole school. If a student finds the right story, it can be very powerful. Characters who are experiencing challenges in their stories can help students realize they are not alone.