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Day of Speeches Informs, Educates, Celebrates

Jenna Lazaroff

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cc2 cc3From the fight against heroin to how to treat people with

disabilities, students throughout the school got a chance

to attend sessions on March 24 to learn, acknowledge and

accept all types of culture and backgrounds that are prevalent in

the community.

Throughout the day students learned and gained a new per-
spective on topics that are not usually covered at school.

“They deviated from the traditional math or science lesson

and taught us more life lessons that are important for everyone,”

junior Agustin Barcellona said.

While some of these presentations were led by public speak-
ers, others were led by students.

“Our school club, Best Buddies, was asked to give a presen-
tation, and we gladly accepted,” junior and presenter Matthew

Oppenheim said. Oppenheim and his peers presented on

“Spread the Word to End the Word,” focusing on the acceptance

of students with disabilities.

The different types of speakers added legitimacy and variety

to the day. Because these presenters had in-depth knowledge,

the information was primarily delivered accurately.

“I enjoyed it because they were presented by either experts

or students who had first-hand knowledge on the subjects, which

made them very interesting and reliable,” junior Vindhya Yana-
madala said.

On a normal day, a student will encounter lessons on math,

science, grammar — the list goes on. Rarely is there a day dedi-
cated to cultural awareness and celebrating diversity.

“My favorite was the sexual assault one because it’s some-
thing that I think people should know more about,” sophomore

Kate Durfee said.

There is no doubt that this event impacted the participants

and offered a new attitude about the different people and cul-
tures they experience every single day. Despite this, the day was

long and it can be difficult for a student to sit through presenta-
tions all day.

“I thought it was worth the time to open up students to new

cultures and ideas, however I don’t think it should have been all

day,” senior Sara Stecher said.

Class participation in the event was not mandatory and there-
fore there were a few, though not many, classes that did not get

to fully experience the day.

“Maybe make it a day completely devoted to Celebrate Cen-
tral, because I know that some people didn’t get to go because

their teachers wouldn’t let them; but I know that’s hard to con-
trol,” freshman Lexie Lander said. “Overall, it was so good.”

Although there was a wide variety of topics — from religion,

to gun violence, to LGBTQ — one of the most popular presenta-
tions was the one on heroin. The speaker was a former police

officer who witnessed heroin overdose first hand.

“My favorite presentation was the one about heroin,” Lander

said. “The speaker did an amazing job delivering information

and connecting to the students on a personal level. Anyone who

was lucky enough to see that presentation would agree that it

was powerful and engaging.”

Not only was each presentation unique, but they also offered

a better understanding of the daily life of other students at our

school.

“The ESOL one really showed what life was like at PCH for

kids in ESOL and how the PCH community can work to make

it more welcoming and inclusive,” junior Krishny Karunanandaa

said.

Each topic provided a different perspective and was meant

to teach students and faculty about the diversity and different

backgrounds that take place at school.

“I personally enjoyed the Syrian presentation because it really

opened your eyes to the daily struggles people in other environ-
ments and I liked that the presenter was genuinely invested in

the topic,” Stecher said.

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The Student News Site of Parkway Central High School
Day of Speeches Informs, Educates, Celebrates