Sleepy Hollow Middle School Peer Leaders Promote Message of Inclusion

Tarrytown Public Schools invite the community to an open-to-all learning virtual equity session with Paul Gorski from the Equity Literacy Institute.

As any Swiftie will tell you, there are many haters out there. And it’s not always easy to shake them off. The eighth-grade Peer Leaders are committed to serving as mentors and role models for sixth graders. As part of that mission, they recently delivered a peer-to-peer lesson about inclusion while the district observed Inclusion and Kindness Month. While that month is largely focused on the importance of inclusion of those with disabilities like Down syndrome and Autism. The Peer Leaders expanded that message to focus on the inclusion of all people. It’s a pebble of a message that ripples through the schools and reaches students of all ages.

“It’s so important to be kind and inclusive if someone is alone, especially if someone has a disability,” said Julia, a 6th grader in Jenna Goldberg‘s class. “Exactly what she said,” chimed table mate Lauren while classmate Jair nodded, smiling in agreement.

The eighth-grade Peer presentations also included Internet safety and digital citizenship in advance of Internet Awareness assemblies that the district hosted. Afterward, the sixth graders did a Booket, played heads-up, and created post-it compliments, which the sixth graders put on other students’ lockers with messages like “Be yourself” and “You rock.” 

Being inclusive and kind has been reinforced all month across the district, and it is resonating. Luz, a 6th grader in Kirk Dietz‘s class said that beyond March, Spread the Word: Inclusion should be how people act day-to-day. 

“Just knowing how to help someone can make someone’s day and make them feel comfortable, and that’s really nice.” Just like that pebble, small actions can make a significant impact!

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