Guilford High School’s Unity Week kicks off today, with its theme of “Unclique it and Ticket.” While Unity Week is an annual event for the school, this year’s focus is specifically on acceptance and anti-bullying. “The week will feature opportunities for students to take a stand against bullying, step out of their cliques, spread kindness, and make new friends through activities created, planned, and executed by Unity Club members,” shares GHS Principal Rick Misenti. The “ticket” part of the theme will be in recognition of students kind acts throughout the week.
The Unity Club, who organizes the event, is an after-school extracurricular activity that many local schools offer. This year, the club decided to place an emphasis on the arts, such as literary, musical, and visual outlets, to convey the campaign’s message. Events this year will include a literary contest, art contest, mural painting, and spirit day themes. “The students have been involved in every planning stage for this event,” says Misenti. “They were challenged to think about the one thing they wanted to change about the culture and climate of the high school, and to find a way that would be simple, cost effective and wide spread.”
“From there, they thought of their own way to fund-raise, designed a t-shirt, and created activities and events for the week.” Misenti continues. “They took ownership in doing all of this, including researching materials, involving parents and businesses in our community, and informing the media. This truly will be a school community event.”
The club also elected to address the ever-growing issue of cyber-bullying in schools as well. To promote awareness about the issue, students will be asked to turn off their cell phones at two separate times during the week as a way to acknowledge the harmful effects of these modern day bullying attacks.
The week will conclude with a school-wide assembly on Friday, October 19th at 1 pm. “There will be an improvisation performance, speeches from faculty members, and a speech from Dr. Eric Arzubi, Policy Fellow at the Child Health and Development Center of CT and works on the School-Based Diversion Initiative,” adds Lori Hahn, Communications Coordinator at Guilford Public Schools.
“Unity Week has always been successful. This year's theme and all the activities surrounding the theme will present challenges and I am confident that our students and their advisor will be successful in every step of the way,” concludes Misenti. “This is a wonderful and powerful opportunity for this high school to have everyone pull in the same direction and bring about a substantial, sustaining, and positive change in our relationships with each other.”