When Alexandra Riffle and Courtney Simonson launched the @MWHSPride Twitter handle and blog “170 Days of #MWHSPride,” the Mound Westonka High School seniors weren’t trying to make a statement. It started with a goal to increase school pride. “We felt our school was lacking in pride and school spirit,” says Riffle. “We do have an amazing school, and we have a lot of people who are really amazing going to it.”
Since the introductory post on August 30, 2013, the blog has begun to evolve into something more. At a time when online bullying has become pervasive, 170 Days of #MWHSPride stands out. “Our original idea wasn’t to counteract negative social media,” says Riffle. “The project has turned into that unintentionally. We love doing something positive over social media because some things are so negative.”
For each school day, #MWHSPride has featured a guest blogger with a unique MWHS experience. Bloggers have included parents, teachers, students, alumni and administrators. Students also use the Twitter hashtag #MWHSPride to share positive things about their classmates and school.
What’s next for the blog? “We’re hoping someone else will take on the project once we are done,” says Simonson. “Our goal is for it to keep going into next year. Even if the blog doesn't, we think the hashtag will always stay. We think that is part of the school that will definitely last.”