Photo credit: Jane White

Over the past few weeks, you might have seen positive chalk drawings on the floors of the M-A campus. The mysterious drawings originate from Salvadora Calonje’s AP Spanish for Native Speakers class. Calonje explained that drawings originally started when a student did a presentation on teen mental health issues; Calonje was struck by how widespread the issues were and wondered what her class could do to help. “One student talked about how hard it was to bounce back from depression and anxiety in a presentation, so our class discussed what we could do to help!” She said that her class decided, “It would be a great idea to draw chalk illustrations on the floor of halls with motivational messages.” 

“Sonríe” translates to “smile.”

Sophomore Jatziry Lopez said that she thought the drawings were important because “Some kids are feeling down and if we show some positive messages around school, that may make their day better.” 

Calonje elaborated that, “My students have told me other students are smiling at the messages since they say things like “smile” and other positive sayings.” Furthermore, she thinks the positive effect is noticeable to staff members. “My colleagues have told me that it’s really cute and that they like them, and they do feel warm and cozy.”

Calonje’s students echo her feelings on the subject. Junior Giovanni Vial felt that “the drawings help in some small way, however cliche that may be; It’s a small step towards helping people with their problems.” 

The drawings also bring joy to students drawing them. Students of the class also think that the drawing spreads joy to other students. Junior Julissa Moreno explained that “When we were drawing them, people came up to us and said that it was good because it will mean a lot to them [other students] to walk by and see something positive and inspiring.”

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