A Tale of Two Villes
A Tale of Two ‘Villes:
Amityville and Sayville
When forty Sayville High School students from the Leadership Club visited Amityville High School in November as part of a Cultural Exchange program on Long Island, they spent the school day participating in classroom lessons and school-related activities from different geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic perspectives. The Sayville students expressed positive feedback about their day with their Amityville counterparts and looked forward to reciprocating, which was implicit in the Cultural Exchange plan. For Phase Two, the Amityville students would be invited in Spring for a visit to Sayville High School.
In April, approximately forty Amityville students who were members of The Warrior Awareness Club, also known as the WAC PAC, spent the day at Sayville High School with the Leadership Club for another day of sharing class lessons and related activities. As the students got off the Amityville bus, they were greeted with cheers and applause by the Sayville Leadership Club members and welcomed into the Senior Lounge for a bagel breakfast. The mingling over casual fare was actually a reunion of familiar faces from their previous fall encounter, and there was so much to share even before classes began.
Leadership Club advisors Ms. Jennifer Wittman-Cahill and Angela O’Hoppe along with The Warrior Awareness Club advisor, Jason McGowan, were very pleased with the overall success. Mrs. O’Hoppe remarked, “It was great to hear the feedback from all of the students and to learn that their experience has elicited some true empathy.” Ms. Wittman-Cahill added, “I think students from both schools will remember the experience for a lifetime.”
The students also expressed a positive response overall. They commented on how two very different student bodies could possess similar strengths and weaknesses. They felt the majority of students were welcoming and kind. Participants were courageous enough to point out differences too. Students from Amityville as well as Sayville indicated that class time at Sayville involves more rules, focus, and learning while Amityville’s atmosphere was more friendly and inclusive.
The advisors of both the Leadership Club and the WAC PAC hope to maintain this established relationship between schools so that other students can experience the cultural exchange and all it has to offer in the future!