Just do your best. Kindness changes everything. Today is a great day to learn something new.

These aren’t typically the sort of phrases one would expect to find in a school bathroom, but at the Marshall Early Learning Center and elementary schools, it’s what children will encounter while using the restrooms.

Marshall PTA president Dana Olbert found the idea to install positive phrases on the restroom stall doors

“Every year I try to find different and new stuff that our fundraising money can do to help the schools with events,” she said. “It just sort of grew from there.”

Olbert found the stall door messages on a Pinterest post, a site she regularly uses to find new things the PTA can do to make a positive impact on the schools. The pin showed the messages painted on the doors, but she opted to use vinyl graphic cut outs instead.

The Marshall PTA president searched for some positive messages appropriate for the district’s youngest students and worked with a graphic designer at Badger Graphics who helped decide on design elements for the project.

“The teachers do a really good job of creating great learning spaces in the classrooms and the bathrooms are just kind of boring and dull and a little institutional,” Olbert said. “It just stemmed from there – that we should do something with this space.”

She hopes the messages in the restrooms will remind students that each day is a fresh start and that it’s OK to make mistakes.

“And each messages might mean something different to everyone.”

Superintendent Dan Grady said the support for students provided by the PTA is greatly appreciated.

“The kind and positive bathroom messages at the elementary school are examples of their generosity and creativity,” he said. “The positive messages such as winning doesn’t always mean being first, winning means you are doing better than you’ve done before enhance the school’s learning environments.. The Marshall PTA continues to promote positive learning environments with messages such as ‘Be Awesome today’ with a picture of a bee.”

Olbert said the PTA is looking to expand offering positive messages to students by installing vinyl graphic cut outs in the middle and high school restrooms. She is looking for messages and graphic elements that will appeal to teenagers.

“Our PTA is unique in that we support the whole district, not just one school, so we have to be really careful with where our funds are going to make sure they’re spread out between all four schools,” she said.

It cost approximately $1,500 to complete vinyl graphics at all bathrooms at both school; Olbert is unsure of the middle and high school stall door project costs.

“I hope when parents see those (PTA fundraiser) catalogs come home, that they can actually see where it goes. This is something people can physically see and it brightens the room and hopefully will help see more support with the big fall fundraiser and see more good things happen,” she said. “The more support the PTA gets, the more these types of projects can get accomplished.”

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