Spokane Students Spread A Message Of Hope

February 19, 2024

Stop by Spokane School District later this month and you’ll see a clear message throughout the district – there is always hope for the future. Thanks to a Silver Dollar City Foundation grant, the district is laser focused on spreading a message of hope to students and parents.

The district has dedicated the month of April to encouraging hope, but leading up to April the district is holding “We Have Hope Wednesdays” the third Wednesday of each month. Superintendent Della Bell-Freeman explained that the number of students who struggle with anxiety and depression has increased since COVID and this project is a way for the district to encourage students and remind them to encourage each other.

“Our students see negatives in the media regularly and that, coupled with the impact of social media is resulting in many who can’t see a bright future,” Bell-Freeman said. “While social media can be great for connecting with friends and sharing highlights of your life, it also lends itself to comparison, cyber bullying, negative comments, and isolation, and many students spend hours in this cyber world which impacts their mental health and outlook on life.”

The 2021 article “Hope, Why it Matters,” written by Dr. Adam Stern and published by Harvard Health Publishing states, “Among young adults with chronic illnesses, greater degrees of hope are associated with improved coping, well-being, and engagement in healthy behaviors. It also protects against depression and suicide. Among teens, hope is linked with health, quality of life, self-esteem, and a sense of purpose. It is an essential factor for developing both maturity and resilience.”
Bell-Freeman agrees.

“As a school district, we care about kids and that includes the whole child,” she said. “Part of our mission is to help students believe that they matter, they make a difference, and the world is better because of them.”

Spokane High School’s Entrepreneurship Class designed and printed T-shirts for each student with the clear message, “There is Owlways Hope,” giving a nod to the district’s mascot. Activities planned throughout the school calendar continually drive the message, reminding students there is always hope and illustrating to students that small acts of kindness can make a big difference.

Bell-Freeman explained that promoting hope is critical to helping students believe in themselves and just small acts of kindness can make a huge difference.

“Some of the activities from the grant are small but they send a clear message to students - there is always hope,” Bell-Freeman said. “Situations change and there are people to help when things seem hopeless.”

In addition to activities focused for students, Bell-Freeman said the district will also be hosting an outreach in April for parents.


Care For Kids


Care For Kids