BATTLE GROUND, Wash. — A group of middle school students in Battle Ground have launched a campaign to help their peers know they aren’t alone during the pandemic, especially when it comes to the stress of online learning.
The students are part of a leadership group at Chief Umtuch Middle School, called the DREAM Team, which aims to prevent substance abuse in their community.
Their campaign uses emoji trading cards that feature different emotions like ‘sad’ or ‘anxious,’ and helps students identify and manage those emotions.
“They are a good way to communicate the idea of, a sense of knowing your emotion, knowing what you're feeling. Because for a lot of people, it's hard to gauge exactly what you're feeling,” said Hyouju Smith, an 8th grade student at Chief Umtuch Middle School.
The cards will be placed in sack lunches that are distributed around the district weekly. The campaign will go through winter break, and each week the cards will feature a new emotion.
Eighth grader Bridget Hopper hopes the emoji cards help connect students who feel isolated.
“I hope the impact it makes on people is, they know they're not alone and that everybody is going through this really hard situation right now and you have to stay strong,” Hopper said.
Classmate Addisyn Heller echoed that sentiment.
“We are connected, and even though we seem far away, we’re not really that far away," she said. "If you need help, to reach out to one of your peers, one of your fellow peers, if you’re not that comfortable talking to your parents or your teachers."
The idea to place cards in sack lunches started in September, when DREAM. Team members wanted to address Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
Students not only get great resources and information from the cards, but can trade them in for prizes and treats.