- Cheltenham School District
Glenside Elementary Celebrates Unity Day
Glenside Elementary partnered with the PACER National Bullying Prevention Center to celebrate its annual Unity Day - a national effort aiming to educate, inspire, and involve students in the prevention of bullying at home and in school - over two days this week. Students most often report being bullied as a result of their race/ethnicity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, disability and religion.
With a focus on race/ethnicity, participants were asked the guiding questions, “How can I support racial equity with my friends and in my community?” and “How can I be an agent for change?”
Glenside students came together online for all-school assembly, which included the announcement of “Unity” as October’s Rainbow of Friends theme; librarian Christine Williams reading a story about acceptance and Sue Dunham’s leading a mindful moment. Counselor Gabe DiBerardinis introduced the school’s anti-racism plan TALK-ACT-LISTEN. The Cultural Proficiency team - Roshanna Floyd, Sara Ryzner, Angie Epperson and Lovie Gooden, discussed equity and introduced four books on the topic, I Am One, Say Something, Antiracist Baby, and Different is Good, texts supporting child-friendly ways of explaining racial equity while celebrating all cultures. Students participated in conversations about the books in their classes, and were encouraged to share their feelings, which is an example of Glenside’s commitment to every child’s well being. To continue these courageous conversations throughout the school year, teachers will be encouraged to read all of the books with their class.
In recent Unity Day celebrations, Glenside students came together outside the school to form letters to create words and symbols, but this year because of the pandemic, students created “No Place For Hate” artwork at home to be pieced together into a large symbol/mural in GE’s cafeteria.
On Wednesday and Thursday, GE students were encouraged to support anti-bullying prevention awareness by wearing orange, the official color for bullying prevention awareness. Students wore orange t-shirts, socks, shoelaces or sweaters.
On Thursday, students had a few opportunities to engage with each other.
Students were “mixing it up” in their virtual classrooms through community building activities, giving them the opportunity to cross social boundaries and interact with their peers. In their classrooms, teachers engaged with their students in conversations about the importance of bullying prevention awareness, and will continue these discussions throughout the year.