Amityville Students Connect With Long Island Peers

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Amityville Memorial High School students and their peers from across Long Island are exploring issues affecting society through the Breaking Borders program. This is the second year Amityville has partnered with high schools in other districts, including Freeport, Levittown, Oyster Bay-East Norwich and Syosset, to spark meaningful and productive conversations about serious topics.

Each school hosts a gathering of students, who bond over a pizza lunch before splitting in smaller groups to talk about the topic of the day. Every group is led by a student facilitator who introduces discussion prompts. When Amityville hosted, the topic was “How does racism affect our society?” Sophomores Alexia Gordon and Carlos Reyes began the program by introducing their guests to Amityville and its diverse student population. 

Amityville social studies teacher Matthew Tomasi explained that the premise of Breaking Borders is to give students a chance to interact with their peers from different backgrounds. He said that when people step out of their comfort zones, it makes the world more inclusive. While the transformation is not overnight, Mr. Tomasi explained that holding these discussions are “the first steps” toward change. 

“They are getting to see how different people live their lives,” he said, “and gain an understanding of how people are both similar and different.”