Nothing seems to express happiness more than a smile, and at Waverly, a Wall of Smiles across from the library brightens up everyone's school day.
Librarian Alexandra Mineo and kindergarten teacher Jennifer Batz spearheaded the idea last winter and asked students to bring in a photograph of themselves that they placed on a bulletin board. "We saw how it affected the students," said Batz. So they decided to start the new year with a smile.
When the kindergarten and first-graders walk by the Wall of Smiles, they often stop, look for themselves and their friends.
The idea also reinforces the concept of community which was Waverly's character education principle during September.
Mineo explained how the children discussed key concepts.
"How do you treat people in a community? You follow the rules to stay
safe. You say please and thank you." A smile also welcomes a person into a
"When you give someone a smile, it is a compliment.
When someone smiles at you, it makes you happy and you pass along that
smile," said Batz.