Mastic Beach, NY - October 1, 2014 - The William Floyd School District, in collaboration with the Shanti Fund, recently held its fifth annual Unity Week, a celebration of unity, peace and diversity designed to promote tolerance, understanding and acceptance of differences. Students throughout the district’s eight schools participated in grade-level appropriate activities that promote these unifying and peaceful ideals. Additionally, at the Shanti Fund Day of Peace held at the H. Lee Dennison Building in Hauppauge, William Floyd High School received the “Best Presentation” award for highlighting the district’s participation including a “Unity Night” celebration held for kindergarten through eighth graders.
During the week, students, faculty and staff demonstrated their support for unity with an array of activities that promoted an expression of diversity, peace and anti-bullying. For example, all members of the William Floyd school community were encouraged to “Wear White to Stop Bullying” on Wednesday, September 24.
A sampling of the activities included: students at William Floyd Elementary placed peace pinwheels in the ground and drew peaceful pictures with chalk; students at John S. Hobart Elementary sang songs about peace; Moriches Elementary exchanged “peace cranes” with a school in Kenya and held a poetry cafe; students at Nathaniel Woodhull Elementary made “peaceful bags” with encouraging notes and small gifts for distribution to the Cedar Lodge Nursing Home and spelled out “Peace” in different languages with their bodies; and students at Tangier Smith Elementary spelled out the word “PEACE” while wearing shirts with different colors of the rainbow.
At the middle school level, students at William Paca Middle School created a “Paca United for Peace” mural and decorated the trees in the school entry way with origami doves; and students at William Floyd Middle School created an art installation entitled, “Peaces of Glass” created out of recycled water bottles and real plants donated by school personnel which resulted in a beautiful indoor botanical garden complete with the sounds of birds and running water.
At William Floyd High School, students organized and held a Unity Night for the district’s younger students where they had interactive activities and games, a choir performance, face painting and more; and students also visited each elementary school to read to students.
“I’m extremely proud of our students for understanding the importance of treating others with dignity and respect,” said Dr. Paul Casciano, Superintendent of Schools, William Floyd School District. “The activities that the students participated in and even sometimes spearheaded are so impressive that it has resulted in recognition by the Shanti Fund for two years in a row.”
About the Shanti Fund
The Shanti Fund is a Long Island-based organization that promotes peace through education. For the past 16 years, they have partnered with various Long Island School Districts to spread the message of peace during the week leading up to Mohandas Gandhi’s birthday on October 2. Each year’s event has a specific theme with this year the topic being “Youth and Peace.”
Art Installation: William Floyd Middle School students under the direction of art teachers Timothy Kosta and Stephanie Taisler, created “Peaces of Glass,” a collaborative art installation in the front lobby of the school focusing on peace and unity.
Pinwheels: William Floyd Elementary School students placed peace pinwheels in front of the school in celebration of Peace and Unity Week. Students are pictured with Assistant Principal Darryl Wilson and Art Teacher Linda Braverman.
Additional photos of Unity Week activities are available on the William Floyd School District flickr page.