An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Katherine S. ’23

It's evident that we all strive for connection in our lives. However, a genuine source of interaction is hard to come by. Society substitutes it with other forms of networking: text messages, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. It isn’t often that we get to know someone without these distractions and take the time to find out more about them. This was the purpose of the Students Taking Action (STA) “Palentine” project, to help others discover more about those they hadn’t made a priority to connect with and set aside a structured time to do so.  

Through a detailed brainstorm, the club managed to come up with a system that would help the Lakeside community achieve these goals. We created a format that supported getting to know each other, which would include students writing three letters to an individual within their grade. However, there was a catch. Throughout the process, not a single person would know the identity of their buddy. The entire Middle School would become acquainted with a peer, but without the bias they may have previously had if they had known who would receive their letters. Often, our interactions with those around us depend on preconceived notions we’ve formed about their character or personality. Through making the buddy project anonymous, STA was able to eliminate that factor in the process of getting to know each other. We believe that when given the opportunity, Lakeside students will connect authentically and seek to get to know someone outside of their usual circle.

The Palentine project is currently underway and the student body is anxiously awaiting the reveal of their buddy. On February 12, each grade will have an opportunity to connect with their buddy in person and discover who they’ve been learning about throughout this process. STA is excitedly anticipating the results of this activity and we hope that all Lakeside Middle School community members come out of this experience with an appreciation for connecting with others, and most of all, a new friend.

The Feb. 12 reveal party will feature another Lakeside Middle School club, serving pink fortune cookies baked by Seasons Bakery Café club.