Teens decorate school bathrooms with words of encouragement

West Virginia

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Some Kanawha County middle schoolers are hoping a simple gesture in their school’s bathroom will help make life a little easier for their peers.

“We decided we wanted to give back to a community that has given so much to us,” said student Mattie Vandale. Vandale and her fellow Girl Scouts Ashley Risner and Anna Poore started the Caring Cubs project.

They worked with school leaders to hang colorful signs on the stall doors in the girl’s restrooms. The purpose is to spread a message of encouragement and positivity.

“We just wanted to make sure everyone felt welcome and everyone felt happy,” Vandale said. “We wanted to make sure everyone had some kind of safe space where they could sit here or stand or do whatever they had to and just you know, be happy.”

The teenage years can be tough and words can hurt but the girls decided words can also help.

“I feel like it can be challenging for some people and some people need kindness,” said Risner.

They’ve also put racks in the restrooms with items teens may need. They can use those items, no questions asked.

“There were plenty of times I personally had to go to the bathroom and didn’t have a pad or a tampon and I had to like borrow one from a friend,” Vandale said. “So we wanted to make sure everyone had something that they could use whether they needed toothbrushes and toothpaste at home for their family or just themselves.”

It is a subtle way of making life easier for the people they share the halls with everyday.

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