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Students welcomed back with locker messages of positivity

TOWN OF FENTON (WBNG) — The first day of school can be tough, especially if you’re switching to a new building.

“It’s the first time coming into the middle school, it’s a big change from elementary school. They have nine periods, they have nine different teachers, so even though it’s exciting it can be a little bit scary,” said school counselor Shelby Samson.

That’s why some students at Chenango Valley Middle School and High School are helping out.

Sixth graders, entering the middle school, and ninth graders, new to the high school, were welcomed to school with messages on their lockers.

“We know kids are going to be nervous and they’re very scared to come in. So it’s our hope that it makes them feel a little bit better, a little more confident as they learn the routines of middle school,” said Samson.

The notes all listed advice for the incoming students, or just messages of positivity.

“Mine said to make sure you do your assignments the day they’re assigned,” said sixth grader Logan Henyan.

“Mine said everyday was an adventure, so basically that just welcomed us too sixth grade,” said sixth grader Delaney Walters.

The goal is to make the students less nervous about the first day, and being in a different building for the first time.

“They were very cute. And they all have different things on them. And they were all very colorful. And they say nice inspirational things,” said sixth grader Molly Walters.

Each message was handwritten by a current or former Chenango Valley student. Seventh and eighth graders wrote messages for the new sixth grade students.

“When I was writing mine I just made sure that it kind of followed what I would have liked to hear when I was in sixth grade so I just put that down and I hope whoever got my note liked it,” said eighth grader Leah Riquier.

And for the incoming freshmen, last year’s graduating seniors were the authors behind the notes.

“Any time any older students come and talk to the younger students, we try to take advantage of those opportunities, I think they’re more interested in what they have to say. They listen more, they respect them, so coming from them I think means a lot more,” said Samson.

Chenango Valley says this activity was something that started a few years back. Since it’s gotten positive feedback each year, the district says it doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Annie Flaherty

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