Five Questions for Anne Clark,
Administrator at Lincoln Charter School in York, PA
Andrew Campanella, president of National School Choice Week: Was there one moment that you had that made you think, “You know, I really need to do something to combat negativity and to promote optimism and hope”?
Anne Clark: This started about six months ago. A couple of community leaders had come to me and said that they were just really tired, and they really felt sad. We have a lot of poverty. I started to text different messages to different community leaders and just started writing something positive. And not everyone responded back, but most people did, and they were, like, “Annie, I really needed that. I feel so much better. I’m ready for the week.” So that’s how it started.
Andrew: Was it hard to get people engaged and participating in your project?
Anne: No, it took one day. One day. I went to four or five places in our community and said to people I was going to make a Facebook page and to wait for the invitation to join. Today we have members from 31 countries following us.
Andrew: What lesson do you think that this project will teach your students in the long-term?
Anne: I hope that it teaches them that we are one community. And I want them to know that they belong to a community that loves them. I want them to know that when there is good work to do, people do put their differences aside.
Andrew: Do you have advice for other schools and other people who want to do this in their communities and combat negativity with positivity?
Anne: I would like everybody to hear messages of hope from their communities. So, my advice to them is to start a Facebook page that says, “Messages of Hope” from wherever they live. Just take once a night, and you could do it!
Andrew: What message do you have to schools about participating in National School Choice Week?
Anne: I really believe that schools need to find some opportunities to celebrate. And School Choice Week is exactly that. We use it as two-fold. We use it as the time that we talk about our own history. It also gives us the opportunity to dance together, to sing together, and that is really helpful. You know, you gotta do that dance video!
Read more about Anne’s project and their history with National School Choice Week.