Posted: December 19, 2017
JOY and HOPE are intimately connected and are powerful gifts we can give our students, perhaps the most powerful! One of the very best parts of being involved in public education is the JOY and HOPE students give us each and every day! The past few years we’ve featured stories that highlight the HOPE and JOY in our district. Let me know if you have any story suggestions. Thanks for helping us share the HOPE & JOY each week!
This week’s HOPE & JOY comes by way of guest author Clint Williams, principal at Skyridge. He was excited to share about Unity Week at Skyridge! Have a great Monday on this short week!
The week of December 4-8 at Skyridge was our first annual Unity Week. This was a student led movement aimed at making our school inclusive to everyone and to help stamp out bullying. It started on December 1st during our advocacy meetings with students and staff having great discussions about bullying and the effects it can have on us as humans. Then we “decked the halls” with doorway decorations around words like unity, understanding, and respect.
Our week kicked off on the 4th with over 500 students taking the pledge to stamp out bullying in our school. Those cards were posted outside our Library Media Center for all to see. On Tuesday, students designed posters around respect and what the word meant to them. These posters were then put up throughout our school to remind students and staff to always respect others, no matter how unique they might be. Wednesday was “Spread the word to end the word” campaign. Again, over 500 students participated and by putting their thumbprint and signing their name on a poster, they pledged to rid our school of the word” retard”. This is a national Special Olympic movement that stood out to our students who attended the Unified Summit last month. Thursday was school unity as maroon and navy filled our halls to bring us all together. Our week ended with a Unity Day assembly led by our students and a guest speaker. Daniel Barich is a graduate of Fort Vancouver High School who has autism and now speaks to groups of students about his experiences in school and how bullying affected him growing up. The students and staff were all ears as he told his story. The day also included a visit from the CHS dance team during our assembly. Their dance to “Man in the Mirror” was a perfect way to end our week and remind us all that change begins with each of us.
The best part about this whole week was that it was student driven. We had several students attend a Unity Summit in November and they came back inspired to lead Skyridge through our Unity Week. As adults, we provided the support, but this week was truly student driven. It brings a lot of hope knowing that these students will someday be our leaders.