There’s something about a bunch of sunshine yellow-shirted folks, jumping around with signs containing positive messages that brings out happiness in people, and Vallejo was no exception Friday.
Nearly 50 Vallejo Charter School 3rd-graders lined the Tennessee Street sidewalk in front of their campus — the former Springstowne Middle School — to do just that, and found that truth out in real time.
“This is our second year — though it’s these particular students’ first time — and the first year we got quite a positive response from the community,” teacher Jennifer O’Brien said. “It brightens people’s day. It makes people smile. It even works on the people doing it.”
One student came in angry to school on Friday, but once she’d put on her yellow T-shirt, picked up her sign and took up her position in front of the school, she discovered it actually works, O’Brien said.
“She said, ‘it’s true, if you sprinkle happiness, you get sprinkled, too,’” she said.
Kahlina DeLacerna, 8, held a sign reading “You Are Enough,” while 8-year-old Ella Botelho’s sign read “Breathe.”
“I like this because it makes people happy,” Botelho said. “I know, because people are honking at us and waving and giving us thumbs up.”
A few even stopped their cars in the middle of the street to get out and take pictures of the students and their signs.
“People are smiling at us because they’re being sprinkled with happiness,” DeLacerna explained. “It makes the people who are doing it happy, too.”
The professionally printed signs with messages like, “You Are Loved,” “Be You,” “Go Ahead & Shine,” “Thank You,” “Why Not?,” “You ARE a Good Parent,” and “Everything’s Going to be Alright,” have traveled the country and the world as part of happinessprinklingproject.org, a 6-year-old concept born in the Midwest in 2012, according to the website.
“A set of signs travels from place to place, Sprinkling Happiness all over the world,” the project’s website says by way of explanation. It was a Facebook post that started the ball rolling, it says. Now, these signs are shipped to groups that request them, the members sign the back, and ship them back when they’re finished.
“The whole idea is to bring joy to people,” O’Brien said. “It can change someone’s whole day. Last year, a homeless man walked up to us and told us we were doing a wonderful thing, and he teared up, so you know it touches people.”