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Shanks Middle School motivates students through positivity

Shanks partners with G.C. Sheriff's Office for positivity week
Posted at 5:15 AM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 12:59:26-05

QUINCY, Fla. (WTXL) — Positivity is contagious and James A. Shanks Middle School in Quincy is spreading the good vibes. During their positivity week, school leaders are encouraging students that positive behaviors lead to positive results.

“We are a school, our focus is on academics,” said Shanks Middle School principal Maurice Stokes. “But we are also responsible for making sure that we shape and cultivate young people into productive citizens.”

Each day of positivity week focuses on a different theme. On Tuesday, students wore white t-shirts to stand together against bullying.

“Some people don’t know what kids are going through,” said Shanks middle school student Alexis Velasco. “You don’t know what’s going on in their life. When you keep on with bullying you never know what could happen to the kid that you’re bullying. That’s why we have to stay positive.”

Every day students recite the positivity pledge. It includes the line “I pledge not to be a bully. I pledge to speak out against bullying.”

“People die from bullying and sometimes people's feelings get hurt,” said Shanks Middle School student. “People don’t know how they feel by making other people feel bad.”

This is the second year that James Shanks Middle school has partnered with The Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office Teen Success Academy. Their goal for positivity week is to make an impact one youth at a time.

“We believe that if we can just touch that one student, they’ll be a positive impact on someone else,” said Teen Success Academy Director, Nicky Collins.

This year’s positivity week also includes a statewide virtual empowerment program. On Thursday students will have a zoom call where they’ll get to meet positive role models in future careers they’re interested in.