Reporting Rachel Slavik
MOUND, Minn. (WCCO) – There are several stories out there about students using the internet to tease and bully, but one west metro school is hoping to change that trend.
Mound Westonka High School is using the internet to promote all the positive activities and accomplishments of its students through a blog called “170 Days of MWHS Pride.”
Every day, the demands of high school bring Alex Riffle and Courtney Simonson to the computer. But one assignment is getting most of their attention.
“Today’s post is from a student that transferred from Minnetonka,” Riffle said.
The blog is teaching these two seniors the importance of the written word, a lesson that’s also shared by the entire Mound Westonka community.
“It’s just really transformed our school and made it more unified,” Riffle said.
The blog started as a simple idea: have students, staff, parents and alumni post a positive thought or video every day of the school year.
The response was immediate. A month and a half in, there are more than 7,000 views for a school that’s only made up of around 900 students.
“It’s awesome to see everyone coming together and saying how great it is to have these accomplishments at our school,” Simonson said.
The blog is also having an impact outside the virtual world. Assistant Principal Marty Fischer is already noticing a change in the hallways, with students looking for the good in others.
“We have things that are happening here that are a direct link to that blog – the positive talk, the positive communication,” Fischer said.
Where the internet is often home to harsh words that tear others down, the Mound Westonka White Hawks go there to be lifted up.
“We just want positive things in our community to keep being highlighted because [there are] so many unique people and personalities in our community,” Riffle said.
This is a DECA project, and the students will compete on the regional level, and possibly on the national level.
Both students have done well in years past at the DECA competition, but their teachers say this year tops it all.