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Hillside Elementary School Celebrates Unity Day

Fouthgraders l;ine up for a photos with UNITY DAY signStudents at Hillside Elementary School switched from green to shades of orange this week to celebrate Unity Day and how to be a Hillside hero.

On Wednesday, October 20th, all students at Hillside Elementary School were invited to wear orange as part of Unity Day, a day meant to promote kindness and prevent bullying.

The month of October is National Bullying Prevention Month and Unity Day is held during the month to show unity for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion and to send a visible message that no child should ever experience bullying.

“We shouldn’t bully anyone,” said fourth grade student Andie M. “You should never judge a book by its cover.”

Students at Hillside Elementary School were also treated to an outdoor assembly where they learned how to do their part in standing up against bullying. Aided by members of the fourth grade safety patrol, wearing superhero capes, students learned how to handle bullying situations like a hero.

4 Hillside students gather together“Bullying is bad because it makes people feel bad and that they can’t do things,” said fourth grader and patrol member Hanling D.
“And you shouldn’t be afraid to get help if you need it,” added fourth grader and patrol member Tyler M.

Students also received a special visit from the Hillside Elementary School resident superheroes, the ‘Captains of Courage’.
“The captains of courage were something that we made up a couple of years ago,” said School Psychologist James Forcinito. “They help kids be courageous and stand up in certain situations and sometimes they will make an appearance.”

Forcinito and Hillside Elementary School Guidance Counselor Juliann Snyder donned the masks and capes for the day to help demonstrate not only how to be heroes, but also that they don’t need the mask and cape to be one.

“Originally, the kids were going to the Captains of Courage for help in this situation,” said Forcinito. “This time, the theme was more that they can all be a hero in these situations, and that they all have the skills to solve these problems without being a superhero like Captain Courage.”

Hillside Elementary School staff and faculty also learned from the Captains of Courage and were proud to come together for Unity Day.

“Thank you to Captain Courage, our wonderful mental health team, and our fourth grade Safety Patrol for teaching us about what bullying is and sharing how we can be upstanders against bullying,” said Hillside Elementary School Principal Amy Cazes. “Our students learned how to be a hero through amazing skits created by our fourth graders. It was a beautiful afternoon to celebrate Unity Day and share the joy of being together as a community.”