Pictured: Students from Morgan’s Message and the Physical Education Leaders club at Wantagh High School organized activities for P.S. I Love You Day on Feb. 9.
Photos courtesy of the Wantagh School District
The joy was noticeable at Wantagh High School on Feb. 9 as the school celebrated P.S. I Love You Day, an initiative dedicated to eradicating the stigma around mental health. The purple streamers hanging from the ceilings and purple hearts with positive messages throughout the hallways brightened up the school and energized students and staff.
This was Wantagh’s first year as an official P.S. I Love You Day school, partnering with the West Islip-based nonprofit organization. The high school’s Morgan’s Message and Physical Education Leaders clubs joined forces to spread kindness and cheer.
Students were encouraged to wear purple and they were also given purple beads as they walked into school that morning. Members of the two clubs staffed a table in lobby, where students could write positive messages either for themselves or for others. They could also add their names to a giant P.S. I Love You Day banner.
After school on Feb. 8, more than 30 students from the two clubs decorated the building to ensure that students and staff would walk in the next morning feeling cheerful and inspired. Elaina Buscemi, Sienna Diglio and Brighid Smith, student officers from Morgan’s Message and Physical Education leaders, spearheaded the efforts.
“I hope this can put into perspective that everyone has tough times but no one ever is alone,” Brighid said. “There’s always going to be someone there to talk to.”
Brighid added that the clubs have been planning for P.S. I Love You Day since December, and it was rewarding to see their efforts pay off. Seeing so many students wearing purple, she noted, meant the message was getting out there.
“It’s important for us to raise awareness,” she said.
Adding to the team effort, students from the culinary arts classes baked cookies with purple sprinkles that were given out in the lobby.
Morgan’s Messages advisers Valerie Gompers and Iris Kline, and Physical Education Leaders advisers Marisa Caccese and Deb DiBiase, commended the hard work of the students to organize P.S. I Love You Day and implement all of their ideas. Not only did they work hard, but their efforts made a difference.
“For them to take charge and do this says so much about them as student leaders,” Ms. Gompers said. “I’m blown away by how much the school came together. Students are respecting this day and taking it seriously.”