Bringing Joy To To Birch Lane One Word At A Time


School should be a happy place and that’s the inspiration behind positivity Thursdays at Birch Lane Elementary School in the Massapequa School District. The new initiative started after the holiday break and will continue every week.

Birch Lane Elementary School teachers Vanessa Apfelbaum (left), and Jessica Tortorella and first grade students wore shirts with positive and uplifting messages for positivity Thursday on Jan. 21.
(Photo courtesy of the Massapequa School District)

As students arrive at school, upbeat music plays over the public address system. On Jan. 21, songs included “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi and “Hakuna Matata” from “The Lion King.” Teachers and fifth grade students make suggestions for songs, which are approved by Principal Stephen Aspetti and Assistant Principal Joyce Larkin.

Fifth graders Hailey Larmann and Cole Latini let their shirts do the talking on Positivity Thursday.
(Photo courtesy of the Massapequa School District)

Students and teachers are encouraged to wear shirts with positive and uplifting messages. Additionally, each Thursday’s morning announcements includes a kindness challenge. One week, students were asked to compliment a classmate. For second grader Russell Tessler, receiving some kind words from a friend meant so much to him, that he wrote about it in his notebook.

Second grader Russell Tessler was so touched by receiving a compliment during a kindness challenge that he shared his joy in his gratitude journal.
(Photo courtesy of the Massapequa School District)



“It’s making an impact on the students and that’s what it’s all about,” Larkin said about the motivation for starting positivity Thursdays. “We want to bring them sunshine. We want Birch Lane to be a happy place for them.”





Ariana Green and Lily Gein did their part to spread joy at school.
(Photo courtesy of the Massapequa School District)






Second grader Johnny Antonucci gives a thumbs-up to kindness.
(Photo courtesy of the Massapequa School District)

-Submitted by the Massapequa School District

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