Lynbrook North Middle School eighth graders participated in Challenge Day on Nov. 18. The day-long program was filled with social and emotional exercises that encouraged students to build connections, empathy and inclusivity.
Challenge Day leaders Enrique Collazo and Whitney Johnson created a safe and comfortable environment for the students to open up and be themselves throughout the day. A number of staff members, including Principal Sean Fallon, also participated in the program with the students. In the morning, Mr. Collazo and Ms. Johnson spoke to the eighth graders about what they could expect from the day and encouraged all of them to be present and reflect on their own emotions.
“Life can feel like you’re running on a treadmill and you can’t find the off switch,” Mr. Collazo told the students. “It’s so fast…that’s why I think days like today are so beneficial. We get the opportunity to step outside that busyness, take a deep breath, stop and pay attention.”
This was the third year that Lynbrook North Middle School hosted Challenge Day. Students and staff were highly engaged as they connected with others, including those that they had never met before. Together, they shared their own personal experiences and struggles. The goal of the day was to foster a positive school community filled with empathy, tolerance and compassion for others.