Amityville, Bayport-Blue Point Students Make Connections

Amityville, Bayport-Blue Point Students Make Connections thumbnail139187

Lining the path to Amityville Memorial High School’s main entrance, students applauded and offered high-fives as their peers from Bayport-Blue Point High School arrived on Oct. 28. The two schools participated in their longstanding cultural exchange program, in which students spend a day at another Suffolk County high school.

Each of the 30 students from Bayport-Blue Point was paired with an Amityville student, and attended his or her buddy’s classes throughout the day. But first, students from the two schools gathered in the cafeteria for breakfast and icebreaker activities.

Jason McGowan, adviser of the Warrior Awareness Club, commonly known as the WAC PAC, said that the icebreaker activities help the students get to know each other better. In one game, Link it Up, each student found a peer they shared a commonality with, such as the same birthday month or favorite color. After linking arms, they were then given a discussion topic. Another engaging activity was a rock, paper, scissors competition.

As the day concluded, students came together to reflect on the experience in Amityville’s recently refurbished library, followed by a pizza lunch in the cafeteria. Several WAC PAC students also recorded the activities and conducted interviews with the participants to put together a small video documentary on the program.

Amityville senior Jasmin Lucero said she was excited to see the perspective of the Bayport-Blue Point students, who attend high school about 25 miles away. She also said the cultural exchange was a great chance to showcase one of Amityville’s greatest assets – it’s diversity.

“We’re meeting new people and learning more about what’s out there other than our area,” Jasmin said. “We’re expanding our horizons.”

This year’s cultural exchange program was extra special for Mr. McGowan, who welcomed his son, Trey, a Bayport-Blue Point High School student. In November, Amityville will host students from East Islip High School and in the spring Amityville students will visit the two high schools.