Oct. 24 was Unity Day across the nation, and students and staff at NLP wore orange to show that we are United for Kindness and against bullying. This initiative is sponsored by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. The center states, “Orange provides a powerful, visually compelling expression of solidarity.” Unity Day sends a universal message that bullying is never acceptable behavior.
Teachers were encouraged to have students write about ways to be kind. Mrs. Booth and Mrs. Rieker read the story We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio. The book led to a class discussion about “changing the way we see,” and then the class brainstormed the differences between what we see on the outside and what we can be allowed to see when we get to know the true person inside. The students then traveled around the room writing down statements of what they see in their fellow classmates. The students were then able to read the compliments and all the wonderful things their classmates said about them.
The book Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes was read to the kindergarten class of Mrs. Ross-Randich and Mrs. Thompson. During the reading of the story, the students were encouraged to think before you speak and that it is hard to fix a wrinkled heart. Every time a character in the book was mean and said unkind things, the students would wrinkle a paper heart that they were holding. By the end of the book, the paper heart was very wrinkled. The kindergarteners then tried to fix the wrinkled heart by smoothing and putting Band-Aids on it. They noticed that it is very hard to fix a wrinkled heart.
It was a great day for the students of NorthLake Park to wear orange and show that together, we are united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion!