Arlington, VA

H-B Woodlawn students adjusting to life in their new school building, The Heights, have built a unique friendship with the office next door with a friendly message system crafted from Post-It Notes.

The sticky note dialogue began after workers in the building at 1600 Wilson Blvd put up a sign in their windows over the summer complaining about construction noise.

When the H-B Woodlawn students moved in for the new school year, a group of sophomore students decided to respond by sticking up a message that said “Hi.” Since then, it’s grown into a daily exchange with messages saying everything from, “How You Doin” to the office responding, “Want to Intern?”

Mary Plunkett, a student who started the messages with a group of her friends, reached out to ARLnow to share the exchange, noting it’s been a way to foster a sense of community as they adjust to the new building.

“The first day of sticky notes, we wrote ‘Hi’ this past Monday afternoon,” Plunkett said. “We hoped for a response, but we weren’t sure of it. We were ecstatic when we showed up to school on Tuesday and two different offices wrote back!”

One of the offices at 1600 Wilson, Wakefield Research, separately shared with ARLnow that the “research analysts and managers in the office are all happier people” because of the exchange.

“We spend our days on research projects for the world’s biggest and most demanding companies, so it’s refreshing to connect on a personal level with young people,” said Paul Bragan, senior partner at Wakefield Research.

“The students sending Post-It messages today will be colleagues and clients tomorrow. What started as a fun exchange by our creative team has really grown into a neighborhood movement. Welcome to the block, H-B Woodlawn!”

This year, H-B and Shriver Program students moved from their former home at 4100 Vacation Lane — what is now Dorothy Hamm Middle School — across town to the newly-constructed Heights building in Rosslyn.

“Moving into this new building was definitely a big adjustment at first, but I think we are gradually getting used to our new space,” said sophomore student Georgia Thomas. “I think the sticky notes are a great way to build new connections in our new environment, and I love how involved 1600 Wilson Blvd has gotten.”

Since the initial sticky note windows are almost at capacity with messages, Plunkett says they’ve moved into other parts of the building.

“It’s so encouraging to see happy messages from our neighbors saying things like ‘make it a great day!’ or ‘we <3 you too’ or even something as simple as ‘good morning’ when we get to school, it really sets a good tone for the whole day,” she said.

A similar sticky note conversation blossomed among office workers in central Rosslyn last year.

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