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Massapequa Ames Students Devote a Day to Gratitude

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, gratitude was the focus in science classes at the Massapequa High School Ames Campus on Nov. 17.

The lesson supported the district’s emphasis on social and emotional learning. A team of administrators and professionals from the pupil personnel services office visited classes throughout the day to show students why gratitude should be an important part of their lives.

Ninth graders learned to recognize and acknowledge the good aspects of their lives, reflect on how fortunate they are, and pause to notice and appreciate anything they may take for granted. The presenters emphasized how small acts of kindness can give others reasons to be appreciative and grateful.

“We want students to recognize the things in life that they have, and we want them to build better relationships with their family and friends,” guidance counselor Kate Balcuk said, who added that there was an emphasis on building a positive mindset.

Other presenters included Principal Tania Willman, Executive Assistant to the Principal Danielle Kennedy, dean of students Ken Wing, attendance officer Kelly Sciotto, psychologist Vincent Pennisi, social worker Kim Hession and guidance counselors Sara Levine and Courtney Mollura.

As a culminating activity, each class created a gratitude jar. Students wrote everything they are grateful for on sticky notes, then shared aloud with the class.