‘I Matter’ Project Highlights Importance Of Each Student
Angels Camp, CA — A school district in Calaveras County launched a new effort to help students feel valued and connected to the community.
Both schools in the Mark Twain Elementary District (Copperopolis Elementary and Mark Twain Elementary) participated in a new “I Matter” project. Pictures were taken of students and staff, and they were put on display in the school cafeteria. Each person is holding a piece of paper stating why they feel “they matter.”
Calaveras Superintendent Scott Nanik says, “A focus on student mental health is more crucial now than ever. Projects such as this help remind students that they are important, they matter, and each of them as individuals are valued.”
Mark Twain Superintendent, Paula Wyant, adds, “I think it is important for our students and our community to truly be celebrated for what makes them so special and important. And, by having to write it down and have a picture, I think takes the affirmation to such a concrete level. It was especially important that this project move forward as we entered into our 1st year returning to campuses in a traditional way after having so many bumps in the road (COVID related).”
School officials decided to use black and white photos to “equalize and unify” all of the faces.
The district reports it was a “labor of love” to put the project together. At Copperopolis Elementary, those who assisted were Brice Maygren, Samantha Austin, Amy Kilgore and Paula Wyant. Samantha and Paula also helped at Mark Twain Elementary along with Tamsen Lenior, Tonya Ziehlke, Christy Miro, Gary Pogue and Dillon Wyant.