Mastic Beach, NY - October 8th, 2013 - The William Floyd School District, in collaboration with the Shanti Fund, recently participated in its fourth annual Unity Week, a celebration of peace, unity and diversity designed to foster and promote tolerance, understanding and acceptance of differences. Throughout the week, students from each of the district’s eight buildings participated in age- and grade-level appropriate activities that promote these ideals. At the Shanti Fund Day of Peace, Unity Week’s culminating event, William Floyd High School students received the “Best Presentation Award” for highlighting the plethora of activities presented throughout Unity Week.
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 25; elementary students read books with related topics; students wrote poems and learned songs about peace and unity; students created peace pinwheels, origami peace doves and participated in other peace-themed projects; secondary students showcased thematic artwork; some acted in anti-bullying skits; and others participated in a voluntary day of silence – as if they were without a voice – to empathize with those who are victims of bullying.
“Unity Week is a wonderful way for students to demonstrate their creativity while at the same time thinking about the importance of how we interact with and treat others,” said Paul Casciano, Ed.D, Superintendent of Schools, William Floyd School District. “I look forward to this week each year and am extremely proud that our high school students were recognized by the Shanti Fund for the quality of their projects.”
About the Shanti Fund
The Shanti Fund is a Long Island-based organization that promotes peace through education. For the past 15 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 “Peace and Harmony.”
Pictured: Unity Week: William Floyd High School students (left to right) Gabriella Davila, Samantha Passarella, Angela D’Angelo, Winter Sanders and Joseph Klaus and art teacher Dale Luongo, were recognized for the “Best Presentation Award” at the Shanti Fund Day of Peace at the H. Lee Dennison Building in Hauppauge. They are pictured with the statue of Gandhi.
Origami Doves: Sixth and seventh graders at William Floyd Middle School, under the direction of art teachers Timothy Kosta and Stephanie Taisler, created “Origami Peace Doves,” a collaborative art installation in the front lobby of the school focusing on peace and unity. The dove was chosen because it is a universal symbol of peace.
Woodhull Wears White: On September 25, students, faculty and staff of Nathaniel Woodhull Elementary School participated in “Wear White to Stop Bullying Day.” Pictured are students from throughout the school with special art projects created by third-grade students. The art projects contained each third-grade students’ handprints and peaceful sayings by Gandhi. They were created by students in the following classes: Carrie Farra, Debbie Cooke, Jessica Giovannettone, Christine Bucco and Dina Libretti.