News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 9, 2013

EDITORIAL: Memo to U.S.A.: You can ‘SPPRAK’ just as we do in Vigo County

Our kids, truly, are ‘Making a Difference’


The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — If you haven’t already watched NBC Nightly News’ “Making a Difference” segment about Vigo County schoolkids’ use of sticky notes on bulletin boards to compliment their mates, go to the Web links below and watch a piece from Monday night’s report. Also check a Web-only segment.

 What you will see is our community articulately represented by first-graders, high schoolers, principals and by a co-creator of SPPRAK, an acronym for Special People Performing Random Acts of Kindness.

 As Tribune-Star reporters have told you several times in recent months, SPPRAK is simple: It seeks to highlight good deeds that each of us can do for one another.

SPPRAK has now spread to our schools, two of which — Lost Creek Elementary and Terre Haute North Vigo High — were featured in the NBC story, reported by Kevin Tibbles.

SPPRAK is more than a feel-good process, although it certainly is that. It teaches. It means kids will see others’ good acts and emulate them — “what they might do to serve someone else,” as co-founder Robin Heng told Tibbles.

It also gives hope. North junior Dario Stephens observed, in the Web-only segment, “We live in a world today where all we see is darkness and hate, but I feel like the … SPPRAK Wall, it shows that’s not true.”

Back at Lost Creek, Tibbles asks first-grader Shane Zoelske how he feels about the SPPRAK note idea. “I feel really good about it,” Shane replies. “I feel like we should do more good deeds and we should keep going and stuff.”

Good stuff, overcoming the bad stuff, one compliment at a time, the power one individual has to positively affect the day — maybe even the life — of at least one other individual.

That’s the lesson of SPPRAK, a lesson Vigo County is now teaching the nation.

To see the NBC segment, go to: www.nbcnews.com/id/40153870/vp/51795308#51795308

For web only content see: www.nbcnews.com/id/40153870/vp/51795308#51794097