Being the Change

Freshmen Participate in Four-Day Unity Day Event

Summer Vickery , Staff Writer

For four straight days, groups of students filed into the small gym each morning, but it wasn’t for gym class. Rather, all freshmen and transfer students were invited to participate in Northmont’s annual Unity Day, which was restructured this year as a four-day event held from September 22 through September 25.

“Unity Day is so important for students to be involved in because it creates an understanding for students to realize that other students have the same problems as them and they are not so different. It also lets people know that everyone brings their own stories into school,” said Ms. Sheree Coffman, student assistance counselor.

Students participated in a variety of activities all aimed at helping them get to know one another and open up. Students said they experienced a range of emotions, including laughter and tears during the six-hour program.

“The cross-the-line game allowed me to get out what was on my mind without physically talking,” said freshman Rachel Moran.

Students also expressed Unity Day let them know they were surrounded by people that could help them.

“You always think you are alone…until Unity Day,” said freshman Bailey Mescher, of the event which served students in four alphabetically-divided groups.

Unity Day was eye-opening for some, sending messages like “words hurt” to freshman Ally Cunningham, while Mescher left with a reminder to not be so quick to judge.

The message for some followed them home.

“Life is more than high school, it’s more than what it seems. Unity Day showed me that life is what you make it,” said freshman Hailey Burns.

Coffman, who plans the event, along with Ms. Melissa McMonigle, Ms. Erin Snowden, Ms. Abby Daniels, Ms. Chesley Booth, and Ms. Chrissy Hall, attributes the day’s success to the teachers, principals, and other staff at the high school, who not only help facilitate, but also willingly let students miss class.

Unity Day has been held over five years, yet this is the first year the event was accomplished over four consecutive days, and reached every freshman. The goal, however, has remained the same since its inception: “To make more sensitive adults,” according to Daniels.

Of the 410 students that attended, 97% gave positive feedback.

Note:
“Be the change” t-shirts are still available for purchase. They are $10 each. If you would like to purchase one please see Coffman.