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Pride Celebration Brings Together Middle School Community

Irvington Middle School students held an inaugural Pride Celebration in the campus quad on June 3. The event, which was the culmination of a series of activities coordinated by the Diversity Alliance Club and members of the IMS Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Character Building Committee, highlighted the school’s commitment to a welcoming and affirming environment.

“I’m so proud of the students for all the hard work and dedication they brought to making our celebration come to life,” said school psychologist Julianna Calapai, who organized the event along with Assistant Principal Allyson Daley. “They helped to create an event that welcomed different ages, backgrounds and identities.”

During the celebration, the students watched slideshows with information about the different flags of the LGBTQIA+ community, various pronouns and identities, as well as the history of Pride Month. They were also treated to bookmarks, stickers, pins and popsicles while others created chalk drawings of flags, hearts and positive phrases along the walkways. In addition, the students enjoyed dancing to music and a live performance by the Irvington Middle School Music Honor Society.  

“The campus came together to celebrate and learn about the LGBTQIA+ community in a positive and engaging atmosphere,” Calapai said. “Students walked away with smiles on their faces and hopefully a little knowledge as well.”

Prior to the celebration, the students shared weekly announcements with their peers on the history of Pride Month and shared facts regarding the events behind Pride celebrations in June. In addition, they created slideshows and videos of several staff members and classmates, describing what pride means to them, and wrote on Post-it notes their own definition of pride.

The activities were part of Irvington Middle School’s efforts to continue to foster an inclusive, supportive and affirming environment. It also directly tied to the school’s social-emotional learning and character-building education and its efforts to promote the values of empathy, compassion, acceptance and community.