Pride Day 2019

Every year at Talawanda High School, sophomore students attend an event called PRIDE Day. However, up until they actually attend, many of them aren’t aware of what the event actually is.  According to Theresa Peter, a school counselor and one of the coordinators of the event, PRIDE Day is an anti-bullying program. “PRIDE Day stands for People Respecting Individual Differences Everyday,” Peter said. “The purpose of the program is to help students increase personal power and self-esteem. It helps build a positive environment where all students feel secure and welcome.”

At PRIDE Day, students participate in a number of activities and discussions that help them gain an understanding of what is happening in each other’s lives, especially the lives of people they may not talk to very often. “Students participate in large and small group activities led by teacher volunteers and Miami graduate students.  Everyone has a chance to interact, talk and share with people they don’t always interact with,” Peter said. She assures that any information that students share during PRIDE Day is strictly confidential. One of the event’s mottos is “what happens here stays here.”

“Students regularly talk about PRIDE Day being one of their best memories of high school,” Peter said. “From a faculty perspective, I think PRIDE Day offers students an opportunity to grow as people outside of academics.  What students learn from the day can impact them forever. From discussions with students, they say that it helps them see their classmates differently and prompts them to be better to one another.” 

Some students have such positive experiences at PRIDE Day that they return their senior year to help out. One such senior, Natalie Weneck, describes her memories of the event: “My experience with PRIDE Day was an exciting one.  From the happy to the sad to the silly, I loved it all,” Weneck said. “I enjoyed learning about things in my classmates lives, and feeling like I grew closer with them.” Weneck decided to volunteer with this year’s PRIDE Day so she could help the sophomores have as good of an experience as she did.

This year PRIDE Day is taking place on Oct. 24 and 25. “One thing I’d like to say to the sophomores is to come to PRIDE Day with an open mind,” Weneck said. “And life is filled with awkward moments, so learn to embrace them. I think that PRIDE Day is something everyone should experience, even if you end up not liking it, it’s still something you should be exposed to.”