FlyerPride challenge underway

Spanish Class 2 students at Norwood-Norfolk Central School display their hashtag -FlyerPride in a photo posted to the high school’s Facebook page. Provided photo

NORFOLK — A lot of students have taken pictures of themselves as part of a new challenge in the Norwood-Norfolk Central School District.

The “Flyer Pride Challenge” encourages students, staff and community members to take pictures of themselves at school events such as sports games, club activities, school dances, pep rallies, music concerts or other activities and post them to the school’s Facebook page with the hashtag -FlyerPride. The photos are posted to the high school’s page or the middle school’s Moments page.

The pictures will also be printed and added to displays in the school to create a collage throughout the year.

There’s also a reward attached to the photos. At the end of each month, a name will be drawn from any students who submit photos for a chance to win Flyers Gear, such as T-shirts, wrist bands and other items.

Superintendent James Cruikshank said Flyer Pride originated a number of years ago with the district’s Varsity Club.

“We did find that we needed a way to galvanize school support among our student body,” Mr. Cruikshank said. “This community has always displayed an incredible amount of pride in their programs and their activities, and we wanted to provide a positive outlet for our students. Every child that’s successful can connect with a positive environment. That’s what we wanted to create, a positive environment that kids wanted to belong to.”

He said there have been recent challenges that have been destructive in nature, and officials at the district wanted to counter those.

“We want to provide our students with a challenge that was positive, that would bring them into a positive environment,” he said. “So we are doing a challenge right now, the -FlyerPride Challenge to post pictures of yourself at events and activities.”

He said officials wanted to address a couple of issues.

“Number one, we wanted to give them a positive challenge instead of a negative one,” he said. “However, we also recognize that for about a year-and-a-half, students sat in their bedrooms, and we wanted to encourage them to get out to activities. Go to your community events, go to your church events, go to your school events, take a picture and post it with a hashtag -FlyerPride. We’re seeing just amazing participation. Our kids are really embracing it.”

He added: “We were fearful that students would continue with their habits of staying in their bedrooms and not joining social activities, and that’s part of our responsibility as a school, to provide children with the mechanisms to practice their social and civic engagement.”

He credited George Biffer, the district’s curriculum director, with leading the challenge. Mr. Biffer created a YouTube video to explain the challenge. The video is viewable at wdt.me/FlyerPride.

“One of the movers behind this just recent Flyer Pride Challenge is Dr. Biffer,” Mr. Cruikshank said. “He’s our director of curriculum, and he’s the one that really brought this to the challenge level. So I really have to thank him for that. It all has an underpinning to our Flyer Pride initiative that we started many years ago and are very cognizant of the fact that kids need to belong, and we want to provide them something to belong to.”

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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