Winsor Hill Elementary School held an important and far-reaching event last Friday that goes hand-in-hand with its ongoing philosophy of being “committed to providing a safe and enriching learning experience for all its students.”
It was Healthy Kids Day, an annual event that health and physical education teacher Susan K. Parillo has coordinated for years.
But last Thursday’s day-long event, which featured a morning-long session and afternoon event that was divided into three parts, took Winsor Hill’s positive message about tolerance and healthy relationships to an all-time high.
Parillo enlisted the volunteer services of Nicolette Peloquin, Miss Newport Harbor 2016; Cranston Police Detective Eric Baccari, who is assigned to the Rhode Island State Police Computer Crime Unit; and Anthony Pezzillo of Mastery Martial Arts, who delivered messages about respect, bullying, and positive choices.
“It was our hope to improve school climate and students relationships through this Healthy Kids Day,” Parillo, who doubles as the head coach of Johnston High School’s award-winning cheerleader program, offered. “We are all pleased with the results and positive impact about tolerance and healthy relationships that today’s discussed with our students.”
Last Thursday’s event began with a morning session that included students watching a video specific to elementary school age children about bullying. Students later disused the movie and made posters.
“There were words like friend, nice, protector, kind, honest, etc.,” Parillo said. “The student’s reactions were certainly encouraging.”
The afternoon session included three events that were held inside the school’s cafeteria and gymnasium and the outdoor playground area.
Peloquin, who is an ambassador with the Choose to Be Nice organization, spoke about that non-profit’s work. The reigning Miss Newport Harbor was so impressive in her presentation that Parillo said: “Winsor Hill School is hoping to have Nicolette back in September to join the Choose To Be Nice school campaign.”
Meanwhile, Baccari, who used a special slide presentation on cyber bullying, was joined by Principal Michele Zarcaro for his session inside the school’s cafeteria.
The detective informed students what happens when you text, tweet, or post without thinking. He also informed the students on how to behave wisely and safely online.
“Mr. Baccari’s question-and-answer time at the end of each session was particularly informative,” Zarcaro said. “We found the students’ questions very, very interesting.”
Pezzillo, who is the chief instructor at Mastery Martial Arts new facility located in the Stonehill Marketplace at 1386 Atwood Ave., spoke to the students about positive messages and healthy relationships.