The halls of Somers Middle School were glowing orange on October 20 with bright clothing, hats, and posters. The No Place For Hate Club (NPFH) organized Unity Day, an event designed to bring awareness to the dangers of bullying,
“The purpose of Unity Day is to stand up against bullying and stand together as one,” says eighth grader Makaila Eagleton. “It is about getting together, being united, and accepting each other for who we are.”
Earlier in the week during their advisory period, all middle school students wrote a positive message or something unique about themselves on a slip of orange construction paper. The NPFH club linked the hundreds of messages together and looped the resulting chain around the front lobby.
“I joined the No Place For Hate Club because I don’t like seeing people sad,” says sixth grader Jillian Pino. “Working together on Unity Day gave us a sense of community. It’s a good way to make new friends and stand up for each other.”
The NPFH Club advisors are psychologist Samantha Morrison and eighth grade school counselor Stephanie Kurchack. They help the club members organize events and foster discussions about kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.
“Unity Day has a big impact on our entire student body,” says Dr. Morrison. “It allows our students to be empowered against bullying and to have a voice and a platform for spreading this important message. By participating in the advisory link activity, we were also able to create a visual representation of our SMS community coming together and uniting to promote this important idea.”
The NPFH club members will hold more events throughout the year, with the goal of making the middle school a place where everyone feels safe and accepted.