Hillside Elementary School
Hastings-on-Hudson Union Free School District
- Hillside Elementary School
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Schoolwide Assembly Captivates Students
Dr. Michael Fowlin, better known as Mykee, is on a mission to create an atmosphere of worldwide inclusion, dignity, kindness and respect, and he certainly made an impact with Farragut Middle School students and staff earlier this month.
“He truly was phenomenal,” said school social worker Terry Frank, who organized the motivational speaker's visit to the school. “He created a profound experience for every person in the auditorium.”
In two interactive and developmentally appropriate assemblies for fifth/sixth grade and seventh/eighth grade, Fowlin, a psychologist and actor, used humor, theatrical monologues, poetry, storytelling and his personal journey to convey his thought-provoking message exploring people’s differences and how we treat each other.
He encouraged students to look beyond the obvious to see who people really are and why they behave the way they do. “Hurt people, hurt people,” was among the many messages he conveyed to the students.
“The response was amazing,” says FMS principal, Jennifer Spirelli. “We received many emails from parents about how their children were ‘blown away’ by Mykee’s presentation. One parent told me that her child ‘couldn’t believe how each student was completely engaged.’”
Here are some comments from students who completed a feedback form:
“It was really impressive how he was able to tackle all those types of struggles people go through and really send out a message to the whole middle school."
"My feedback is that this presentation is very important and needed, because the topics he talked about are not talked about enough. It was nice that he added humor as well, to not make it seem so serious, but to still teach us these lessons."
"I really thought about the idea that was mentioned about the ‘Japanese Teacup’ and how if you hold the handle you don't know what the temperature is like on the inside. Same for people. If you judge people by their ‘handle’ you don't really know what's on the inside."
"I think it was a great presentation and an incredibly important thing to hear. I really took away a lot from it.”