Port Washington schools celebrate Unity Day

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Students at Paul D. Schreiber High School await their Unity Day walk, sporting their orange bullying prevention shirts. (Photo courtesy of Daria Martorana)

the Port Washington School District recently celebrated Unity Day, a day celebrating bully prevention, tolerance, acceptance, and inclusion. Unity Day is a nationally recognized event to promote bullying prevention and encourage community kindness. The district’s administration, staff and students embraced the day by wearing orange and promoting a safe and tolerant atmosphere for all. Each school had a unique approach in demonstrating their support of Unity Day this year.

“Unity Day is a great opportunity to bring our community members together under a unified cause: bullying prevention,” said Superintendent Kathleen Mooney. “The teachers and faculty make it a top priority to provide clear and comprehensive prevention practices to promote bullying prevention.”

At John J. Daly Elementary School, students eagerly arrived to school in their orange shirts and spent the morning working together with peers to strategically place orange cups in the fences on school grounds to spell out UNITY. At Manorhaven Elementary School, students used their artistic abilities to craft unity chains by connecting strips of orange construction paper together and writing positive words of affirmation. At South Salem Elementary School, students kicked off Unity Day with a kindness quote over the morning announcement. In their orange shirts, students worked together to outline the word UNITY in orange ribbon on the school fence.

At John Philip Sousa Elementary School, students were greeted off buses by teachers and faculty with positive words, and inspiring phrases written on the front sidewalk of the school. At Guggenheim Elementary School, students walked from class to class in a variety of different colored orange shirts to show their support of bullying prevention. At Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School, students walked the hallways wearing orange bracelets that were handed out throughout the day. At Paul D. Schreiber High School, students had a “No Place for Hate” table set up with orange bracelets and handouts for students to pledge not to bully.

Port Washington School District’s participation in Unity Day was established through the district’s Safety and Substance Abuse Task Force committee, co-chaired by Stephanie Joannon, Port Washington Schools Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, and Board of Education President Karen Sloan, four years ago. The funding for the Safety and Substance Abuse Task Force activities is made possible through the efforts of state Sen. Elaine Phillips.  

The day concluded with a Unity Community Walk that made its way up Campus Drive to the Paul D. Schreiber High School track, where state Sen. Phillips was honored for her ongoing support of the Port community. Also in attendance was state Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso, and Port Washington Board of Education members Karen Sloan, Emily Beys, Larry Greenstein, Dave Kerpen, and Beth Weisburd.

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