Pictured: Anu Bindra discussed Sikhism at Calhoun on Nov. 16.
Photos courtesy of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District
Students in social studies classes across John F. Kennedy, Wellington C. Mepham and Sanford H. Calhoun high schools participated in multi-faith forums throughout the month of November.
As part of the Global History and Geography curriculum, belief systems are learned in historical context. Faith leaders from the community representing five of the major religions in the Long Island region, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Sikhism visited all three schools to discuss the origins and foundations of their belief system.
To enrich this learning, Kennedy ninth graders attended a forum on Nov. 7 during the school’s Academic Field Day, dubbed “A Day of Belonging.”
Planned entirely by student leaders, the day was designed to provide students with an opportunity to learn about and even interact with people from a variety of backgrounds.
“It was important to our student leaders to convene a panel of religious leaders in hopes of sending forth the message that ‘different’ faiths are not necessarily that different,” explained Ann Donaldson, a district social studies chairperson. “It is through that message that we hope to foster a deeper understanding of a faith practice other than one’s own while at the same time building bridges between people.”
On Nov. 14 and Nov. 16, ninth grade students attended the fourth annual multi-faith forums, held at Mepham and Calhoun, respectively.
“Representatives addressed the history, beliefs and practices of their faith and answered student questions,” explained Christina Cone, a district social studies chairperson. “The event fostered an environment for students to recognize commonalities and correct misconceptions, promoting understanding and unity.”
In order to further engage students, speakers brough various items demonstration religion, culture, art and more.
“We hope this forum provides our students with a further opportunity to understand the similarities among these faiths, and to appreciate their unique aspects as well,” added Robyn Einbinder, a district social studies chairperson.