Mastic Beach, NY - October 15th, 2015 - To cap off the William Floyd School District’s sixth annual Unity Week, a celebration of unity, peace and diversity designed to promote tolerance, understanding and acceptance of differences, the William Floyd School District took home the third consecutive “Best Presentation” award at the Shanti Fund Day of Peace held each year in Hauppauge. The district received this top award for the myriad age-appropriate activities put forth throughout the district’s eight schools.
A sampling of the week’s activities from each school includes students at Tangier Smith Elementary School kicking off Unity Week with a giant peace symbol created with the entire student body in attendance; and fourth graders in Melissa Worthington’s and Michael Murphy’s classes at Nathaniel Woodhull Elementary School partnering with their first-grade buddies in Frances Rau’s and Nikki Stallone’s classes to read a book and exchange “Peace Friendship” bracelets to signify that no matter a student’s age or size, they can always make a new friend.
John S. Hobart Elementary School welcomed a volunteer from “Mission of Hope,” a relief agency that provides assistance to poverty-stricken children in Haiti, to talk about the group’s efforts. The volunteer is also the aunt of Hobart fifth grader, Justin Brucato. William Floyd Elementary School students created pinwheels for peace in Linda Braverman’s art classes and held their annual “Chalk for Peace” event. While third graders at Moriches Elementary School made peace shirts and wrote peace poems for the annual poetry café, in which three students from each class had the opportunity to read their winning poems in front of their classmates.
Students at William Floyd Middle School collaborated on an art installation under the direction of art teachers Timothy Kosta and Stephanie Taisler titled “Forms of Peace & Security,” based on the world-famous sculptor Alberto Giacometti and painter Jackson Pollock. Working with wire, plaster and paint, each student worked collaboratively in creating every aspect of this sculpture basing the human forms on Giacometti’s study of human cast shadows and Pollock’s drip painting techniques. The vision was to create an installation that centers on peace and security. “The sculpture has a lot of symbolic meaning,” said Mr. Kosta. “We believe peace should be a reality and not just ‘shadows’ that are cast once in a while. This is why these ‘shadows’ come to life and are actually embracing each other to form security.”
At William Paca Middle School, students in Lisa Samperi’s sixth- and seventh-grade art classes created individual abstract artwork that embodies the concept of unity through overlapping profile lines colored with multi-cultural skin tones, representing the coming together of people of different nationalities and people cultures into one unified entity. Students from Marco Antenucci’s sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade art classes volunteered their time after school to design and paint a multi-panel unity mural, which states, “United We Stand,” along with a stylized American flag and a William Floyd logo. The students felt that the statement was a fitting message of the strength that is put forth through a unified community.
At William Floyd High School, students organized and held the second annual Unity Night for the district’s younger students in which the older students provided interactive activities and games, a choir performance, face painting and more during a fun and educational evening.
Additional photos of Unity Week activities are available on the William Floyd School District flickr page.