Waynesville School District recently celebrated Unity Day, a day meant to promote diversity, tolerance, and unity among students as part as a national program to prevent bullying.

FREEDOM Elementary:
 Students spelled out “Unity” on Oct. 25 and wore orange in support of Unity Day at Freedom Elementary. Look closely and in one of the photos you’ll see some administrators cleverly hidden among the pumpkins and bales of straw in this photo.

Unity Day is a national day in which participants are encouraged to wear orange to show they are together against bullying and united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion.

Thayer Elementary celebrates Red Ribbon Week and Unity Day
Thayer Elementary students wore orange for Unity Day and celebrated “Leading the Way ... Every Day” to be drug-free.

Partridge Elementary students go on Unity Walk
With the help of their PIE partners – the 84th Chemical Battalion and 554th Engineer Battalion – Partridge Elementary students walked to a nearby neighborhood to share their anti-bullying message on Unity Day.

Unity Day at East
At East Elementary, students formed a large circle on the playground and sang a song together about unity.

Sixth Grade Center promotes Unity Day message
 The Sixth Grade Center stepped up to promote the anti-bullying message on Unity Day by wearing orange.

WHS  hosts Diversity Summit and Unity Day activities
 On Oct. 9, about 30 WHS students volunteered to participate in a Diversity Summit to plan ways to celebrate diversity at Waynesville High School.

The summit encouraged students to think about what diversity is (to define it), to look at different types of diversity and to find ways to engage WHS students in meaningful conversations. The students participated in three ice breakers and three activities, including reading an article about the benefits of diversity.

During the summit, students discussed ways the high school currently celebrates diversity and what celebrating diversity will look like in the future at WHS.

“Students showed maturity, shared creative ideas and wanted to have an immediate impact,” said Chris Pilz, assistant principal.

Student Government Association members, including those who attended the summit, led Unity Day activities at WHS on Oct. 25. Students wrote on an orange slip of paper what makes them a Tiger and then on additional slips of paper, they wrote what makes them unique.

“Students connected the slips of paper to form a chain to demonstrate that we all share similarities and differences at the same time,” said WHS Principal Courtney Long.

The summit was held at the WCC and was designed to promote embracing diversity as part of the high school’s strategic plan, which is known as the building’s school improvement plan.

The district’s vision is to “Excel as a student-centered community of learners that embraces diversity and innovation.”