Celebrating DASA Week

Celebrating DASA Week

In an effort to promote kindness and compassion, Connetquot staff and students recently participated in the district’s inaugural DASA/Dignity Awareness Week.

The initiative, organized by Director of Pupil Personnel Services Gail Santo and the district’s Youth and Family Service coordinators, included a number of engaging activities designed to promote acceptance, kindness and unity. Below is just a sampling of the activities that took place:

High School
Student members of Connetquot High School’s Anti-Bullying Club provided faculty, staff and students with homemade treats in an effort to get everyone excited for DASA/Dignity Awareness Week. The club also helped to coordinate the distribution of Gamewright Sneaky Cards, a socially interactive card game that asks individuals to complete friendly “missions” that in turn introduce them to fellow classmates. Students also wore purple on P.S. I Love You Day and shared printed messages of love and friendship with their friends, and strangers, in the school.   

Members of Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School’s All In club celebrated DASA/Dignity Awareness Week by distributing “warm fuzzies” to sixth-grade students in an effort to share compliments with one another and make new friends. As the students spread positive messages to one another, they tied a piece of yarn to their new friend’s “warm fuzzy” as a symbol of respect and friendship.

In light of a recent visit from singer/songwriter Jared Campbell, students at Ronkonkoma Middle School celebrated DASA/Dignity Awareness Week by participating in the “Find Your White Line” activity. They wrote down the name of the person who serves as their “white line” and ensured that they stay on the right path through life. Additionally, selected students were recognized by staff members as having a “heart for dignity” based on their acts of kindness toward fellow classmates. The selected students’ names were written down on paper hearts and displayed for the entire school to see.

Idle Hour
Fourth-grade students at Idle Hour Elementary School celebrated DASA/Dignity Awareness Week by spending quality time with their “grandfriends” from the Arbors Assisted Living at Bohemia. Throughout the course of the “grandfriends’” visit, the students played board games with their “grandfriends” and took part in a Valentine’s Day art project, showing that they hold a large amount of love and respect for their visiting friends. Additionally, all students participated in a “Kindness in a Box” activity, which asked them to write positive messages in a colorful box and hand them out to their fellow classmates.

In keeping with the week’s theme of dignity awareness, third- through fifth-grade students at Helen B. Duffield Elementary School were visited by Officer Wendy Verlotte of the Suffolk County Police Department, who delivered a presentation on the negative effects of cyberbullying and how to be respectful toward one another.

Students at Edith L. Slocum Elementary School held a Mix It Up event, encouraging students to cross social boundaries and make new friends during lunchtime. They were asked to write down what they liked about their new friends, and a “Slocum friendship chain” was created based on all of the students’ positive messages. In addition, fifth-grade students taught kindergarten through second-grade classes about the importance of showing respect for one another.

Bosti and John Pearl
In recognition of DASA/Dignity Awareness Week, students at Edward J. Bosti and John Pearl elementary schools were visited by representatives from East Islip Dental Care, who shared some important self-care tips with them.

Sycamore Avenue Elementary School kicked off DASA/Dignity Awareness Week by inviting Richard Specht of the ReesSpecht Life Foundation to speak to all students about cultivating kindness toward one another. Mr. Specht encourages students to perform acts of kindness through the distribution of “ReesSpecht Life” cards, in honor of his late son Rees.

Cherokee Street Elementary School invited students to apply their creative potential at the “Appreciation Station” in honor of DASA/Dignity Awareness Week. While at the station, students were asked to do a craft, draw a picture or write a letter to anyone in the building, student or staff member, to show their appreciation.