A day to ‘learn about and understand one another’

Susky students will have the chance to get to know one another better by participating in “Get Real Day,” a day full of activities aimed to promote understanding on Wednesday November 7.  

Its purpose is to learn about people in the school and to learn to tolerate diversity.  Guidance Counselor Evelyn Kabke believes that “Get Real Day” is important in promoting diversity.  “The major goal of ‘Get Real Day’ is to bring a variety of different students together with different backgrounds and help them to understand one another,” said Kabke.  “We feel that with understanding, comes respect.”  The “Get Real” program is run by Cathy Bollinger, York County Jewish Community Center’s Director of Diversity and Organizational Development.  Kabke and District Attendance Officer Jill Platts are involved in the program, as well, and are working with Bollinger to get ready for the event.  A few of the staff members that will be helping out to oversee the students during the activities, include: Tammy Fontana, Kyle Jane, Melinda Landis, Karen Siddall, and others.  Around 100 students will participate in the event, consisting of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.  During the course of this week, “Gold Ticket” invitations have already been handed out to approximately 100 students.  Kabke explained how the students that received the tickets were chosen.  “We randomly chose every fifth student [in ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade], and then those students got a golden ticket in their homeroom, inviting them to participate in the ‘Get Real Day,’” said Kabke.

The students that sign up will be able to partake in a plethora of activities.  “The students might not all know one another, so we do the ice-breakers in the morning,” Kabke explained.  “Then they start breaking into their groups…  randomly assigned…of five or six students with a leader.  They start talking about different topics, they go to lunch, and then…we do some more activities, and then they get into their small groups and talk about ‘if you really knew me, what would you know.”  The activities planned for the day are aimed to advocate a positive school environment.   Teacher Kyle Jane believes the event does help in improving the school climate.  “I think by just getting to know people you don’t ordinarily see, you understand their difficulties and how life is hard for them sometimes, and it’s much easier to treat them kindly when you know what their situation is,” Jane said.  Junior Makenzie Fancher also agreed that the event does help in promoting a positive atmosphere.  “You get to know people below the surface…if people know that,” Fancher explained,  “then they won’t judge people on their outer appearance…”   The “Get Real” program can open students’ eyes to how understanding one another can go a long way.  Senior Roseanne Isang found that one lesson stood out to her most.  “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover because you never, ever know what’s in the pages,” Isang said.

Getting Real: Junior Sadie Leslie and Seniors Allison Burton, Caroline Savin, and Courtney Brandt participated in Get Real activities last year. Photo By: Susky Alum of 2012

“Get Real Day” allows students to celebrate their differences and learn a thing or two about someone they do not know very well.