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South Glens Falls students join in the 518 Day celebration

May 18, 2022

At South Glens Falls Central School District, our staff and faculty have been placing a significant emphasis on our students’ social and emotional health. It is in that spirit that SGF is celebrating SEL Day on Wednesday.

Held in conjunction with the Tri-County United Way of Saratoga’s 518 Day, the day is focused on allowing students to participate in volunteer opportunities and courses developed by their peers. 

According to the United Way, 518 Day provides opportunities for individuals, families, and groups to be part of the solution to building a more resilient Capital Region through volunteerism and community impact. Hundreds across the Capital Region are taking action in their communities through various improvement projects for local non-profit health and human service agencies and activities uniting our neighbors.

According to SGF Director of Counseling/Social-Emotional Learning Janelle Sipowicz, SEL Day provides students with a chance to give back to the community and learn strategies and practices to alleviate stress. 

The day also allows for a student to take over classes. Students presented their ideas on guided courses and put together their own lesson plans. 

“Our students wanted to share their own wellness skills. With SEL Day, they could give their fellow students their knowledge,” Sipowicz said. “These young adults worked extremely hard developing their lesson and working with teachers to make sure they meet the goal of their plan.”

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Offerings were plentiful, including stress management and yoga. South High students also participated in beautification projects such as courtyard, highway and trail clean-ups. Many of our varsity sports students headed to elementary schools to read to students and answer questions. 

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Over at Oliver W. Winch, students left positive messages for their fellow students in chalk and cleaned up around the courtyard.

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Elementary students met our high school students and could participate in a bingo game, with the winning prize being free ice cream. 

Students across the district were encouraged to do random acts of kindness on Wednesday as well. 

Later in the day, South High students led tours of the school for incoming freshmen. They discussed expectations and challenges in moving up to high school. 

“Eighth grade transition time allows our younger students to get their questions answered by those other students. They also get a chance to meet people they can seek out next year if they feel lost or need someone to talk to,” Sipowcz said. 

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SGF Bulldogs also got a chance to hear a talk from alumni Tom Davis. Davis is an internationally known dog trainer who has worked with the likes of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.  

Davis talked about his struggles during his time in high school and how he overcame those hard times. He spoke with students about how he found his passion for training dogs. 

Davis also joined our students during a barbecue, during which time they got to meet one of his dogs. 

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Dogs were very well represented Wednesday, with therapy dogs making the rounds and a giant bulldog coloring project students could stop to work on. 

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Sipowicz said that over half of the students at South High signed up for one or more courses or volunteer opportunities. 

“We are thrilled by how the day has turned out. We have had several wellness days this year, and this SEL day allowed us to turn the reins over to our students. They guided the day and were the driving force behind the classes and volunteer opportunities,” Sipowicz said. “I think this shows just how amazing our SGF Bulldogs are. We are incredibly proud of them.”

Category: Ballard News, District News, Harrison Ave News, Moreau News, SGFalls HS News, Tanglewood News, Winch MS News