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The Chalkboard Project comes to Grand Haven

February 16, 2018

Words matter

On Feb. 12 and 13 The Chalkboard Project began. Senior Hailey Bethke, one of the head members of The Chalkboard Project for GHHS, explains the intention of the project. “The goal of the chalkboard project is to combat negative perceptions with positive truths,” Bethke said. “So from that a person puts a word that has negatively impacted them on the chalkboard and what that does is that its them standing saying ‘I have been called this but this does not define me’ and they are putting it behind them.” The project is now taking off heading from high school to high school with their own reasons. “For me I think our school needs a little push to get some togetherness,” Bethke said. “There are a lot of people here and not everyone knows each other and I think that it is important to know that, not just you are getting bullied. All type of people have been called names. Words affect everyone and it’s not just a certain friend group or a certain type of person that gets bullied or called a name.”

Used product

 Junior Alexis Hutt writes her word ‘used product’ on the chalkboard. She believes that the words stick out and the photos open people’s eyes to what they say to others. “Through middle school and now people just call me that because people tend to use me as they please and then throw me away,” Hutt said. “I had one girl stop me in the hallway and told me that I was forever going to be a used product because people just need me or they take advantage and referred to me as a tampon and said that ‘I was something you need in the moment then you throw away after’ and that I was worthless after that.”

Student participant

Junior Miya Luckey poses to get her photo taken for the project. “Freshmen year I got called horse because of my teeth,” Said Luckey. “Then I was really insecure about it, but now they don’t really call me that anymore and I have friends to back me up now.”

The process

The person behind the screen is Junior Sam Negan from Spring Lake. He explains that photos only take a day or two to process and go on their website at www.thechalkboardproject.com. The photos will be hung in the main hallway upstairs and downstairs from the end of athletic wing to the library. The 18×24 sized photos will remain hung for students to look at. On March 21, there will be a celebration where, “We are going to have everyone go through the hallways and everyone’s word is going to be covered,” Bethke said. “And they [students] will write positive words on top of them.”

Behind the scenes

The room was jamming to music and light spirits to light up students and make it a more comfortable environment. “We are also doing prizes, so for each day two people will win,” Bethke said. “We are going to draw a name out of all of the papers and they are going to win either a gift card or a t shirt.” These prizes will also continue on the make up day which is on Feb. 20.

The creators

This project stemmed off of Spring Lake’s movement when junior Julia Clover started talking to her art teacher, Mrs.Gwinup. “She had always had a dream and a vision for what she wanted it to look like in the hallways,” Clover said. “So we kinda started and it was just really low key at first and we got some more people on board. We just wanted to make a culture change in Spring Lake High school for what kids saw their peers as.” After a year of planning by Hailey Bethke, Emilee Schaub and Madison Chapel the vision came alive at Grand Haven.

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