PROJECT UNITY - KINDNESS. ACCEPTANCE. INCLUSION.
A Message From Superintendent George Arlotto
On October 24, 2018, schools and offices across our county came together to celebrate Unity Day 2018, an initiative of the National Bullying Prevention Center designed to visibly show commitments to fostering acceptance and inclusion and eliminate hate and bullying. As part of that event, the National Bullying Prevention Center encouraged participants to wear orange as a clear indication of their commitment against bullying.
The day was a huge success, with our schools and offices utilizing a variety of different creative methods to convey powerful statements. The effort garnered the attention of the National Bullying Prevention Center, and the efforts of our schools were shared with other school systems across the nation interested in the initiative.
Our work to impart to children the values of kindness, acceptance, and inclusion continues every day. I am proud to tell you that we are not only repeating our participation in Unity Day this year, but we are expanding our efforts to include multiple observances to help ensure a more regular conversation about this critical topic.
As part of Project Unity, our schools and offices will again take part in Unity Day on October 23, 2019. This will be the first of four “wear orange” days in the 2019-2020 school year. Schools will participate in ways that best benefit their student population and community and I believe the message we send will be even more powerful than last year.
We have designated the three ensuing early dismissal days – on December 5, February 12, and March 24 – as Project Unity days as well. Schools will again create observances and events that best suit their needs and populations, and the professional development for staff designed for the day will be aligned with this initiative.
I encourage all students and staff to wear orange on all four of these days, beginning with October 23.
Schools with uniform policies will excuse students from wearing uniforms on these days provided they wear orange.
It is our hope that the ongoing dialogue around this subject will help us create and enhance mindsets of kindness, acceptance, and inclusion that will carry far beyond the walls of our schools.
As we seek to stomp out hate and bigotry, let’s turn Anne Arundel County orange!