P.S. I Love You Day was celebrated throughout Bellmore-Merrick aimed at spreading positivity and kindness, particularly in schools on Feb. 9.
P.S. I Love You Day is a non-profit born in West Islip dedicated to eradicating the stigma around mental health. “Our mission is to instill hope for those affected by mental illness, fostering a supportive environment and a community where everyone feels welcomed, loved, and supported,” their website states. The effort is carried out on the second Friday of February each year.
English and Science classes incorporated mental health lessons as part of their lesson of the day to help spread the message and the pupil personnel services and counseling staff hosted a range of events aimed at promoting mental health awareness and fostering a positive environment.
At Calhoun, students and staff decorated doors and hallways with purple hearts and I Love You hands reminding peers they are not alone and if someone is struggling there is someone who can help.
“There should be no stigma surrounding mental health and we need to foster a supportive environment and community where everyone feels welcomed, loved and supported,” explained Principal Nicole Hollings.
Students also offered a calming room, sensory friendly tables and activities, free cotton candy and more. Local açai shop, The Purple Flamingo donated nearly 500 smoothies and toppings to the school. Plus, the Buzz’d Coffee mobile truck was on hand to keep the Calhoun community fueled up.
The Key Club at Kennedy High School created a Take What You Need Wall, penning positive messages on Post-It notes for students and staff to read and/or keep.
At Merrick Avenue, Natural Helpers and Advisory teamed up this year to raise awareness by spreading positive messages throughout the school. Purple hearts that the students created were displayed for everyone to see when they entered the doors of Merrick Avenue.
At Grand Avenue, the SADD Club decked out the school with purple hearts decorated with positive messages, while representatives from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) engaged students in discussions and shared coping resources during lunch. Staff hosted a self-love yoga class as well.
Students in all seventh-grade health classes participated in an anti-bullying lesson this week.
“Students reflected on the emotional toll of negativity & name-calling and discovered the power of kindness,” explained Grand Avenue Principal Carlo Conte. “Through stories and discussions, the lesson inspired a commitment to creating a supportive environment."
At MAP, students fished for compliments in a kiddie pool to foster positive self-talk and boost self-esteem. Students in the PREP Academy offered sweet treats to students and staff. School Counselor Catrina Christensen wove purple tinsel into willing students’ hair to brighten days.
PREP Academy and MAP students collected and spray-painted bottle caps to make an upcycled art project palate that practice mindfulness.
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