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Wish Tree at Roosevelt Middle School plants hopeful thoughts in the students’ minds

RMS Wish Tree web

(01/27/2022) A Wish Tree was ‘planted’ in the media center at Roosevelt Middle School (RMS) during the first week back to school to help students think about what positive things might happen in 2022.

“Knowing that student mental health needs are on the rise, we wanted to provide an opportunity for students to be hopeful for the coming year,” said RMS Teacher Librarian Morgan Reel, who set up the project. “We also wanted to have an ongoing community art project that both staff and students could contribute to and interact with.”

Wish Tree is an ongoing interactive art project by Japanese artist Yoko Ono. Participants write their wishes on paper and tie them to the tree. Then, Ono plants the wishes at the base of the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland. Millions of wishes from people all over the world have been planted since 1981.

The RMS Wish Tree is inspired by her artwork and contains the wishes of students for 2022. The tree itself is artificial, but the wishes are written on seed paper and biodegradable paper. The school will plant the wishes in the courtyard garden in the spring and hope to watch them blossom into flowers.

"The wish tree has helped our students practice empathy,” Reel said. “Wishes are often a reflection of what needs are not being met, what we value, or what we fear. Some of the wishes are funny and sweet, but some are sad too. After students place their own wish on the tree, many take a moment to stop and read the other wishes. These students get a glimpse into what other kids' lives might be like and have an opportunity to reflect on the things they may take for granted."

Some wish examples include:
"I wish for good grades and better health."
"For the Raiders to go to the Super Bowl."
"COVID-19 to end this year."
"I wish for a job."
"I wish for my mom to get out of the hospital."
"I wish to be Spider-Man."