Bringing Gratitude into the Classroom: Thankful Thursdays at Bentley High School

The first Thursday of the month. Third Hour. The first 10 minutes. If you happen to wander into the high school during this time, you’ll see students bent over their desks, deeply in thought, writing notes on thank you cards. img_4694

How did this happen? After watching this video, Mrs. Sturgess and Ms. Malmquist were inspired to help our students focus on gratitude. Together they brainstormed a process to ensure each student (and staff member) has the time and resources to express his/her thankfulness to an inspirational person in his/her life.  This school-wide initiative is now called “Thankful Thursday”.

Once a month, Ms. Malmquist’s leadership class organizes a distribution and collection of the thank you cards. Each student, in each high school class, has the opportunity to write a heart-felt thank you letter to someone who has inspired them. These letters are then delivered either in person or through the mail to the recipients.

Why is this important? Psychologists have scientifically proven that one of the overall contributing factors in happiness is gratitude. (Learn more by watching this video by SoulPancake.)  Research is also finding that those who regularly reflect on gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:
  • Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure;
  • Higher levels of positive emotions;
  • More joy, optimism, and happiness;
  • Acting with more generosity and compassion;
  • Feeling less lonely and isolated.


Thankful Thursday allows for our students to reflect on things they appreciate in life, in hopes that they can become happier, stronger, healthier people.

You can see more photos of students participating in Thankful Thursday on our Google Photo page found HERE.

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