Unity Day 2020 : ‘It’s good to be kind’

Greater Johnstown School District  |  Posted on

Greater Johnstown Staff and Students in Unity 2020

Dressed in orange Wednesday to promote “Unity Day” as part of National Bullying Prevention Month, the students and faculty at Greater Johnstown School District were excited to share their message of kindness.

“We just wanted to do something positive in our district and bring us together even though we are apart,” elementary school Assistant Principal Kimberly Moore said.
Throughout October, students have been taught about spreading kindness, signed pledges and participated in activities to promote empathy. Moore said unity trees were created at the elementary that featured compassionate messages from students, and the Johnstown Area Heritage Association lit the stone bridge in orange to support the efforts.

Immanuel Williams, a first grade student at the school, said he’s enjoyed the month-long celebration. His favorite aspects have been creating the leaves for the unity trees and learning how to include classmates more. Williams said it’s “good to be kind.”

At the middle school, Assistant Principal William Cacciotti said each week in the month, the students have been participating in different challenges. Students seen sharing acts of kindness are usually given “Trojan Bucks,” which is a positive behavior system in the district that can then be exchanged for various rewards. During the month, those have been converted to “Be Kind Bucks” to align with the message of the bullying prevention month.

“It’s more than just changing the profile picture orange,” high school Assistant Principal Kurt Hoffman said. “It’s shifting the lens.” Hoffman said there’s been a large social media push to spread the positive communications, support what makes everyone uniquely themselves and the efforts line up well with values already held in the district.

“One of our most important responsibilities, as leaders, is creating an environment where students feel safe and supported by their teachers as well as their peers,” Superintendent Amy Arcurio said.