MIddle School Students Band Together for Kindness

Students Band Together for Kindness at Wantagh Middle School

When students come to school every day at Wantagh Middle School, they are reminded to treat each other with care and compassion. A group of students emphasized that message during Unity Day on Oct. 18, an initiative of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center to promote kindness, acceptance and inclusion.

Students from the Junior Miss Wantagh Court created a large orange “Unity Day 2023: Strong When United, Weak When Divided” banner, which was hung outside of the cafeteria. During lunch periods, they provided pens and black markers, and encouraged students to add their names. By the end of the day, hundreds of students and even staff members signed the banner to demonstrate their commitment to the Unity Day values.

“It’s important to share how bullying can affect people in negative ways,” said eighth grader Isabella Simon, who spearheaded the banner signing in partnership with Miss Wantagh 2023, Julianna Tsempelis, a student at the high school. “I feel that this would bring everyone closer together and bring awareness to bullying.”

Isabella added that this is the first year the Junior Miss Wantagh Court has led the banner signing and she hopes to see it become an annual Unity Day tradition.

Principal Anthony Ciuffo said he was very proud of Isabella and her fellow junior court members for leading this project. He said it fits right in to the middle school’s Caring Warriors brand.

“I want my students to be role models,” Mr. Ciuffo said. “Messages like this mean more coming from fellow students than from adults. When students take charge in doing what’s right, it adds to the climate that we’re trying to establish at Wantagh Middle School.”