PRIDE Day 2013

Added by Maggie Collins, Joseph DeVaughn, Will Brown, and Chris Conese on April 18, 2013. · No Comments · Share this Post

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Group Discussion (Photo by Lauren Flum)

Photo by Lauren Flum

Lunch Break! (Photo by Lauren Flum)

Group Discussions (Photo by Lauren Flum)

Sophomores were split up into smaller groups with one Senior mentor and a teacher mentor (Photo by Lauren Flum)

O'Flynn speaking to sophomores (Photo by Lauren Flum)

Cafeteria at THS (Photo by Collins)

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On April 15th and 16th, sophomore students of THS respected each others differences as they took a day off from their everyday routine to become more socially connected as a class.

  Along with the help of Danielle Mann and Kelly Spivey, Joe O’Flynn committed himself to developing a day to help Talawanda students better understand one another.

“For several years I showed my students a video of the Oprah Winfrey Show about challenge day,” he said. “ I witnessed students relating and being affected by show. Students kept telling me, ‘We have to do this here.’”

O’Flynn stated that after some mutual agreement among the faculty, a group of people were organized to make Talawanda’s own version of P.R.I.D.E. day.

O’Flynn was asked by Mrs. Spivey to lead a group of teachers to organize the “challenge day.”

“I immediately asked Mr. Meece to help me out – being one of the most generous home boys at the high school, he agreed.” stated O’Flynn. “ We then recruited Mr. Lykins, Ms. Calvert, Ms. Sammons, Mr. Steffen and called it P.R.I.D.E. day.”

Similar programs have been seen on The Oprah Winfrey Show and MTV’s “If You Really Knew Me”.  The program was started by Rich and Yvonne Dutra, who are the parents to four daughters.

“I thoroughly enjoyed P.R.I.D.E day.” said junior, Jake Dankert. “It was a fun and interesting experience that allowed me as well as everyone else who was there to reflect on their own identity and separate the differences that make each of us our own exciting individual selves.”

Talawanda High School math teacher Cassie McCartney stated, “Students need to realize that everyone is different. Family issues, social challenges, school life. As we respect each other we learn how to get along with our peers as well as gain a broader view on life.”

McCartney previously helped organize and participate in a sort of day similar to P.R.I.D.E. day while she taught at Garfield Junior High, and she continues to participate in Talawanda’s P.R.I.D.E. day.

As for the years to come with P.R.I.D.E day at THS? “Actually we’re already working on plans for a building wide effort for next year.” said principal, Tom York. “We’ll be doing it early on in the year, like the first day, so that whatever benefits there are we can reap them throughout the school year.”

“People Respecting Individual Differences Everyday”, this statement sums up the entire reason for sending Talawanda sophomores to a day full of interaction among others in their class.