By Jill Fox
As the two-year commemoration of the horrific mass shooting in Parkland draws near, Broward County Public Schools are addressing the emotional and physical safety of the students and staff, and focusing on activities on “A Day of Service and Love.”
Marjory Stoneman Douglas
At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Friday, February 14, will be a non-academic day.
“This day will be a day of service and love in honor of our 17 Fallen Eagles,” said Principal Michelle Kefford.
Parents were asked to complete an intention form to indicate whether their children would be absent or participate in one of the on-campus service projects on February 14. If the student stays home, a phone number must be provided for contact throughout the day.
Some of the options include students and staff serving breakfast to local first responders; work on maintaining and improving Marjory’s Garden, the on-campus student-created garden; spending a “Mindful Morning” with the MSD Mind-Body Club; preparing care packages for children in need and senior citizens; Feeding Community Harvest Drive, where Eagles work together to create meal packages for local food banks; or campus beautification, to improve campus aesthetics.
Kefford advised that clinicians from the wellness center would be reaching out individually to students who were in the 1200 building at the time of the tragedy, to remind them of the services available and to check-in on their general well being.
Westglades Middle School
The theme is Westglades LOVES (Leadership Opportunities through Volunteerism, Education, and Service) where each grade-level subject area has created lesson plans around a service/volunteer activity or a social/emotional learning lesson, and lessons will be based on their curriculum area.
Westglades will also have additional mental health counselors available to help students who need assistance, as well as additional law enforcement officers on campus for the day.
Principal Matthew Bianchi stressed the importance of parents monitoring their children’s electronic devices leading up to the commemoration of the tragedy. They should be encouraged to bring any comments that are worrisome, destructive, or troubling to the attention of an adult.
Park Trails Elementary School
They will observe a day of love and kindness through acts of service. Each grade level has a service project they will work on. These projects align with the school’s theme of “Sharing Kindness: Little Hands- Big Hearts.”
While some students will write letters to soldiers or patients in hospitals, others will be recording stories for children or making items for donation to local organizations.
Principal Arlene Manville said the day is designed to show the students that even though they are small, they can make a big difference in the lives of others by sharing their love.
Heron Heights Elementary School
Students are focusing on “Spreading Kindness throughout the Community.” Classes are pairing up to complete a service project of decorating Starbucks cup sleeves with kind words and pictures. The sleeves will be distributed throughout the community. Students will also have an opportunity to meet and connect with individuals in other classes and grade levels.
Riverglades Elementary School
Spreading kindness is practiced throughout the year, and on February 14, students will create hearts and cards for first responders, doctors, and nurses to show their love and appreciation for all they do for the community.
They will also decorate wooden hearts to create a kindness tree on campus. All grade levels will participate in special activities around love and kindness.