“Scientists have been measuring depression, but they have just started really measuring happiness,” said Katie Taylor, psychology teacher. Positive Psychology students have harnessed the power of “smile science” and spread it through the halls during Snowed In week.
Taylor’s 3rd period class challenged the mundane moods of high school students in mid-December, as finals loomed over students in the upcoming week. Stress builds and negativity can shadow over high schoolers.
“Snowed In” is an annual week-long solution to this yearly problem. Taylor and her class planned dress up days, Candy Cane Grams, hot cocoa, and even gift drives for families in need during the holiday season.
“Snowed in began as a Positive Psychology end of the year project where students were asked the following question: How can you make a positive impact in your school or community and bring Positive Psychology into action?” said Taylor. “Students then created the idea of ‘Snowed In’, where we spent the week showing gratitude and cheer while gearing up for finals the week after. The hot chocolate sales and candy grams sales were used to help a family in need.”
Snowed In emphasizes giving back. Each homeroom is assigned a family in need, and the homeroom will donate to provide everything from toys to household essentials. Each family lives in the area, so they will be helping their direct community. Hot chocolate will also be sold before school and during lunch for $1. All proceeds went to the same Giving Week cause.
Snowed in started three years ago. The first year, Snowed In raised $500.00. The next year, Student Senate joined and combined the week with Giving Week and ended up raising a total of $9,000.
Anna Smith, sophomore senator, helped the Positive Psych class execute this positive project. “The sophomore Senate class helped create decorations and organize the gift drive,” she said. “My favorite part of Snowed In was that, through planning and even decorating, I could see the impact it would make on the students. There is power in the small stuff.”
The dress up days of the week all revolve around positivity to bring up spirits before finals. Monday was PJ day, followed by College Apparel, Wednesday Bright Colors, then Thursday is Cozy Flannels, finishing up with Friday, class themes.
Taylor emphasizes the power in kindness. She wants people to spread positivity because as she said, “Why not?” An optimistic outlook has proven to increase productivity, grades, health among many other benefits. Taylor said, “Just look at the science.”
Social Media Editor, Noelle Harff