Sweet pencil affirmations are the simple, loving hack parents need

PHOTO: Teacher Amanda Cox shared this photo of pencils one of her students got from his mom. PlayAmanda Cox
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When kids are at school, their parents think about them all day long.

We wish we were there to offer support and words of encouragement. But when that's not possible, this pencil hack is the next best thing.

Amanda Cox was working as a teacher at Fehl-Price Elementary in Beaumont, Texas, when she spotted one of her student's unusual pencils. She wrote about the pencil Facebook in a post that went viral last October.

"Today, I was running low on pencils so I asked all of my kids to pull out any of my pencils that they had in their desks," she wrote.

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"I had one student ask me if he could keep his pencils that his mom gave him for school. Of course, I said yes. He then said, 'Well, I guess I’ll give you a few so my classmates can have them too.' I thought nothing of it and took the pencils that he handed me. When I was sharpening them, I noticed writing on a few of them. I then realized that my student’s mother took the time to write on his pencils. I asked him if he would mind showing me the rest of them. What I read melted my heart."

The pencils said things like, "Proud of you everyday," "You are important," "You are perfect," and "I love you."

The post was shared almost 400,000 times and Cox told "Good Morning America" there were tens of thousands of positive comments.

"There were thousands of people tagging teachers and family members to do this for their child and/or students and sharing ideas that they have done that are similar to this, such as writing on their child’s napkin in their lunch box," she said.

The boy in her class who was given the pencils used them throughout the year, Cox told "GMA."

"He was so proud to use his pencils every day," she said. "It made me smile because he would pick the pencil depending on the assignment we were doing. He would pull out the, 'You are a math whiz' pencil on his math assignments and his 'You can do this' pencil during quizzes or tests."

Cox thinks the simple pencil gesture from her student's mom made a positive impact not only on his year, but on his life.

"To hear, or in this case, read a message from their parent daily that says, 'you are talented, intelligent, wonderful, amazing' and 'I love you, I’m proud of you, you have a brilliant mind,' reminds them of their value and self-worth," she said.

As parents gear up to send their kids back to school in the coming weeks, Cox said her post is being shared all over.

"I hope that more children will have these pencils or some type of positive daily message for the upcoming school year," she said. "I know I will definitely be writing on the pencils in my classroom this year."

Editor's note: This article originally published Aug. 1, 2019.