Students and staff from throughout the Lynbrook Public Schools celebrated Unity Day on Oct. 21. Unity Day was started by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center and is recognized across the country as a day to stand together against bullying and to promote acceptance, inclusion and kindness. To mark the occasion, participants wear orange in solidarity. Understanding the importance of unity, especially during this challenging year, Lynbrook students and staff found creative ways to celebrate the day by connecting in-person and remote learners and sharing messages of anti-bullying and compassion.
At the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center, remote and in-person kindergarten classes joined together through the video conferencing platform, Cisco Webex. All students wore their best orange outfits and Carol Woehr, school social worker, read “One” by Kathryn Otoshi to classes. The book taught the students about accepting each other’s differences and how it sometimes takes just one voice to make everyone count. Students in grades 1-5 also engaged in Unity Day lessons during the school day. Marion Street and Waverly Park students signed a No Place for Hate Pledge. Remote and in-person learners at Waverly Park also participated in a school-wide read aloud led by Principal Allison Banhazl and engaged in a karate workout called “Kicked Out Bullying.”
At West End Elementary School, remote and in-person learners explored some important questions and talking points. This included: name ways that you can be an upstander, what does friendship mean to you and what are some things kind people do? Students also listened to a read aloud from Principal Dr. Cindy Lee and remote learners created a chain of unity. Middle and high school students followed suit. Lynbrook North Middle School students and staff decorated pumpkins with positive messages about diversity, inclusion and anti-bullying. All North students also received a Unity Day pumpkin worksheet to decorate and display in their home to show that the Lynbrook community is united against bullying. Lynbrook South Middle School students participated in a “Chain Reaction of Compassion” activity. Students created links which represented their efforts to stop bullying and spread kindness. School announcements throughout the week also featured messages of bullying prevention and unity.
Members of the Lynbrook High School Student Government Association organized Unity Day at the high school. They created hallway signs to spread anti-bullying messages and decorated the gymnasium (now used as the school cafeteria) with orange and white balloons. In addition, each student and staff received an orange mask for the special day and wore green and gold, the school colors, to show that they are all one as Lynbrook Owls.
1) West End first grader Grace Schwarz shared kind words about a classmate on Unity Day.
2) Marion Street students signed a No Place for Hate Pledge on Unity Day. Pictured with fourth grade teachers Christine Castellano (back left) and Michelle Puglisi (back right).
3) Lynbrook South Middle School students and staff created a Chain of Compassion on Unity Day.
4) Waverly Park fifth graders (left to right) Arianna Lanzello, Christopher Buccino, Mgbodochinma Agwu and John Carlo completed a No Place for Hate Pledge on Unity Day.
Photos courtesy of the Lynbrook Public Schools