On Wednesday, October 23, the students in all four divisions wore orange shirts for UnityDay, an event sponsored by the PACER Center to send a message of support, hope, andunity, and to show that we are together against bullying and united for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.
In the morning, the Upper School CORE (CommunityOutreach for Everyone) group, along with Upper and Middle School students, left notes of kindness and encouragement on the Primary and Lower School lockers. The young students were so thrilled and surprised by these gifts.
Other Upper School activities led by CORE during I Block included a Twister Competition with participants from each class; an anti-bullying pledge booth; a poster-making booth; and a friendship bracelet-making booth, all enjoyed while listening to a Friendship-themed playlist created by the Radio Club.
In the Middle School, students gathered on Litow Patio with a mic, music, and pin-making station to spread messages of appreciation and kindness to fellow classmates, teachers, coaches, and staff. The s students read aloud messages that had been collected during the week by Laree Henning, School Counselor for Grades Five through Eight, while Sarah Davis, Director of Libraries, helped students create their own Unity Day pins.
In the Primary and Lower Schools, students wrote their commitments to stop bullying on orange “feet” and taped them to the sides of the walkway between the Behrens Building and the Benjamin Franklin Library.
The students also sold wristbands with words of encouragement like “Be Courageous” and “Always Try to do What’s Right.” The proceeds from the sale will go to purchase hats and scarves for our “Gift of Warmth” Philanthroparty in December. These gifts will go back into the local community to benefit people currently experiencing homelessness.
In addition, Mayanthi Jayaratna, Teacher of Primary School Library and the Coordinator of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Service for Primary and Lower School, read specially selected books for Unity Day to her students. These include One by Kathryn Otoshi, and Bob and Otto by Robert O. Bruel.
The children were reminded that care and kindness should be practiced every day, and the students were excited to put this message into action.