Amityville students create bonds beyond their borders

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Students at Amityville Memorial High School have been getting to know their peers in other Suffolk County school districts. As part of the school’s Cultural Exchange program, the WAC PAC welcomed 40 students from Sayville High School on Nov. 22 and 40 from Islip High School on Dec. 7.

Led by WAC PAC coordinator Jason McGowan, the students participated in ice breakers and had breakfast together to start the day during each visit. The students were then paired up and each Amityville student host brought their partner to their classes throughout the day. Each visit ended with lunch and a debriefing session.

The purpose of the Cultural Exchange program is to establish new friendships and create bonds were between these students. Amityville students will visit Sayville and Islip high schools in the spring for a similar experience.

Amityville senior Esteban Idrovo, who participated in both exchanges, said he enjoyed having the opportunity to make connections with other students, and to learn about their morals and values.

“The goal of this program is to expose students to the diversity that may be only a zip code away,” said WAC PAC coordinator Jason McGowan. “By immersing students in another school’s culture, they are provided the opportunity to broaden their view of people who are different from themselves and hopefully become more accepting of others. These students realized that teenagers are teenagers, regardless of their race, social class or economic background.”