UNITY CIRCLE TAKES ACTION AT MIDDLE SCHOOL
“Designated as a Schools to Watch Model School, Sayville Middle School is continuing to develop innovative programs in keeping with the NYS Essential Elements,” explained Kellie Lindskog, Eighth-grade Math Teacher who is excited about spearheading a new pilot program for the 2017-18 school year. “It’s called the SMS Unity Circle and will be taking place in advisory. Ideally, the Unity Circle Advisory will be directed by the students. As a facilitator, I will be a liaison to administration. I can also research and present ideas for the approval of the advisory. Together we can make a difference!”
Through a recommendation process, Ms. Lindskog chose this year’s candidates for the select group of fifteen students. These students will be expected to assume leadership roles within the school community and will have great opportunities for community service.
In addition, Ms. Lindskog networked with Mr. Simonsen and Mrs. Culkin, who work with the leadership club. “They both were very receptive to our advisories working together at times to help support a safe, inviting, trusting, and mutually-respectful school environment in the Middle School.”
Through the Unity Circle Advisory the students and staff will work together to:
- Encourage new student connections via activities such as National “Mix-It-Up at Lunch” Day in October.
- Network with national organizations, universities and other middle schools nationwide with similar clubs, such as:
o UMass Dartmouth, Laurel College Center, Southern Poverty Law Center and more.
- Help provide a welcoming, inclusive, safe learning environment for all students.
- Invite other advisories to attend special events in our advisory, such as special breakfasts to experience the food and music of different countries as we Skype with someone in that country.
- Maintain a themed showcase in the math hallway to celebrate diversity, bring awareness and encourage unity and kindness.
- Offer students a chance to learn about different cultures and backgrounds through multiple modalities such as short videos, articles, Skype and guest speakers.
What Unity Circle Has Done To Date (see below):
So far we have:
- Decorated the showcase with Mrs. Martin’s advisory for Hispanic Heritage month (Sept 15 – Oct 15) and enjoyed ethnic cuisine of gazpacho, rice and beans, and plaintains;
- Celebrated Rosh Hashana by having the traditional challah bread and apples dipped in honey as we watched a short video describing the holiday;
- Explored an activity using ‘diversity beans’ which includes jellybeans in six different colors. Each of the colors comes in six different flavors. The purpose is to let kids know that “This candy is just like people, you can’t determine what’s on the inside by simply looking at the outside. It reminds us to experience people one at a time and enjoy their unique properties.”
Unity Circle (Hispanic Heritage Month)Announcement For The Hispanic Heritage Month Showcase
By Sarah Ramsundar
In our Unity Circle Advisory, we the students of the next generation, aim to raise the awareness of our community about the beauty of diversity in its many forms. We work to empower all of our members to know that they have something to contribute to our community through their voices and through service to others. One activity we did was called “Diversity Beans” where everyone took a jellybean and put it in their mouth, but came to the realization that the taste was a different flavor than what it looked like. This taught us never to judge a book by its cover. Another activity the Unity Circle did was to decorate the showcase near Mr. Papalia’s classroom, to honor Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th to October 15th. On this holiday people recognize the contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States celebrating their heritage and culture. Hispanics have had a profound and positive influence on our country through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work, and service. We all had so much fun putting up decorations, and just learning about our magnificent world. In our club we just want to spread what we’re learning about with all the other students in this amazing school!
We would like to share a quote with you that exemplifies the Unity Circle Advisory’s mission: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
For comments by more students click on the link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/13gBV83jcsY3M7ISqO72XPRyz5Uz6oaGbgFwlMDA-MQA/edit#gid=341031026