Passionate staff members come together to introduce the Be Campaign
January 14, 2022
The tree was featured at this year’s Winter Expo held in the Arts Center which showcased Summit student’s remarkable art projects set across the top floor embedded in the holiday atmosphere for the entire community to enjoy.
The Be Campaign encourages staff and students to live by the theme of the month, engaging in activities that are helpful to others throughout the school.
At the start of the 2021-2022 school year, the Be Campaign was born on the Summit School at Nyack campus from a group of passionate staff members. This group began formalizing the campaign to provide a way for everyone to move forward with a focused purpose over the course of the school year.
Deborah Dolan, Principal at Summit School said,
“The goal of the Be Campaign is to bring attention to a new theme each month that will encourage staff and students to embody positive characteristics and allow us to engage in prosocial activities as a community.”
This initiative saw results almost immediately. With the first official month of the campaign beginning in October, the staff and students were encouraged to focus on Kindness. Later that month the entire school celebrated their 1st Annual Fall Fest, where everyone was united with t-shirts that said, “Be Kind”.
During the month of November, the focus was on bringing awareness to gratitude. This created the opportunity for the community to recognize all of the things to be grateful for. Sometimes the most obvious things can be the easiest ones to take for granted. In an effort to help develop better habits toward positive change, staff and students were asked to share things that they were grateful for.
Some of the entries really struck home. One student wrote, “My family, being on track to finishing high school by June, another day to live.”
School Psychiatrist Dr. Veronica Fellman shared, “The kindness and compassion between students I see here everyday.”
And another student wrote, “The ability to go to a school like this, I would have never imagined a better environment for me.”
The benefits of these monthly themes have really helped open up many of the students with each other, as well as the support staff.
In December, generosity became the focus. The goal was to inspire random acts of generosity throughout campus, which proved to be successful . A holiday food drive was organized to benefit the Center for Safety and Change, an organization that has been committed to working with victims, survivors and their families, offering life-saving and life-changing programs and services to thousands in Rockland County, NY. Generosity really came to life as students took part in multiple events with the Summit School’s Animal Program, Pets For Purpose. The goal of these events was to collect food donations for the drive and allow the animals to interact with the larger Nyack community. The food drive was such a success that the Creative Arts Department at the Miramare Creative Arts Center on the Summit campus was able to construct a tree (pictured below) from all the food that was donated. In addition to that, nearly $1000 was raised for the organization and as a result, the community became that much stronger.
To kick off 2022, the Be Campaign aims at motivation. The entire month of January encourages students and staff to be Motivated. In the following motivational video, Special Education Teacher, Bill Leone, discusses advice he gives to his students which is precisely what he told his own children;
“You have to do the thing that speaks to you…”, says Special Education Teacher, Bill Leone.
Be Motivated: Bill Leone