At The Seven Hills School in Walnut Creek, California, gratitude is one of the shared values of the school community. Opportunities abound for students to express their gratitude for all of the positives in their lives – family and friends, home and school, adventure and quiet time. They also learn to celebrate the challenges that come with exploration, experimentation and wrestling with new content and ideas.
In this setting, Matti Gold, Seven Hills Lower School music teacher, is always on the lookout for ways in which students can express themselves through music. Earlier this Fall, Matti came across Nimo Patel’s music video, “Grateful,” and she taught its chorus to her Kindergarten-5th grade students. The chorus went “viral” on campus and soon all of Seven Hills’ 386 students could sing along. Working with Matti, Middle School teacher Jason Davis, and a talented parent videographer, Seven Hills students performed in their own version of a “Grateful” video which they sent to their parents just before winter break.
Through the beauty of student voices and campus images, they moved their parents to tears with the message, “All that I am, all that I see, all that I’ve been and all that I’ll ever be, is a blessing, it’s so amazing, and I’m grateful for it all…”
The video project deepened students’ sense of gratitude, brought the whole school community together around this central value, and served as an antidote in a world of increasing complexity and concern. The impact of the video’s message went far beyond our hills, as our community shared it with extended family and friends through social media. As the message continues to travel, our students have learned that their voices matter— they’ve helped us all pause and take time to appreciate the big and little things in life that are truly important.