By Isabella Visintainer       

On Tuesday, November 24, the middle school had their annual E3 day. On this day, students gave back while doing fun and different things. Whether it was raking leaves for the elderly, or just getting their groove on, they were helping the community and sharing the E3 spirit.

But why do we have E3 day? If you didn’t know, E3 stands for “Everyone Matters, Everyone Cares, Everyone Learns”. When you participate in E3 day, you are showing that you care for your community.

We asked Dr. Ferris why it was so important to live through E3. We went to him because believe it or not, he was the one who originally made E3 day (with  other teachers), and we can tell that  the spirit of thinking of others before yourself is how he lives.

According to Dr. Ferris, ” E3 in general came about in 2007 when we (teachers, kids, myself and some parents) started thinking about how our school could become a more caring and supportive school environment for learning.  A few teachers came up with the concept of coming up with a short, easy to remember slogan and that is when “Everyone Matters, Everyone Cares, Everyone Learns” kind of appeared before our eyes.   In 2008, the teachers and staff thought of having a day to kick off the new school ethos E3. We thought a celebratory day at the beginning of the year would be a good way to do it.  So we ran our First E3 Day in early October of 2008.  The day slowly evolved into a day of giving to others and it then was moved to the day before Thanksgiving because it fit nicely with that holiday season.

It  started as a day focused on students caring about each other and focusing on anti bullying.  We would watch videos about bullying or mean behaviors and then spend time in advisories talking about how to be “E3” towards each other.  After the first year of it, students quickly started asking if they could help others outside of the school.  Then the day slowly transformed into students and teachers working together to help others in the community but in the same grade levels.  In 2010 we started offering student choices and allowed kids to mix in grades 6, 7, and 8.  In 2012 we combined E3 day with our Thanksgiving Breakfast exchange and now it is the day you know it to be 🙂

I worked with teachers, students, and some parents, asking them for ideas and searching for locations that might need our help.  That’s how we found the Senior Center in Glen Cove, the Boys and Girls Club, St. Bonfice, and some other out of school locations.  Teachers volunteered to come up with other ideas for in school activities like the dance-a-thin, Pondos, Basketball Challenge, Turkey Bowl, and Mural Painting. Then a student asked if we could go to the elementary schools and we thought it was a great idea so we added that too.  The day has basically become one where we hope every child and adult has something they are interested in to participate in.

 In a world focused so much on selfishness, greed, and stepping on the little people to get ahead, we feel it is important to focus our students and community members on learning so we can be successful in life but also caring about others.  We hope that focus will slowly change the attitudes of people as they become adults so that our world is full of caring, supportive, and life changing people… I think thats pretty important!”

But it’s not just the principal who cares so much about E3 day and wants to share opinions. I asked some 6th graders who are new to E3 day and have a clean slate of what they know about having E3 spirit. There also the new generation of N.S.M.S and having a kind spirit to others in our school. Here’s what some of them said.

6th grader Jessica Valensisi participated in Crayons for cancer, and she loved E3 day! ” [E3 day was fun because] we can all learn that they’re are people in need, and putting others before you feels great.” Another 6th grader, Faith Oakes, says, “E3 day is so important to our school. It helps us all to be individual and unique  we were even on the news! E3 day is the best thing N.S.M.S could ever have! Anyway I love E3 day so so much and I feel that it is extremely important to our school!”

      As the holiday season gets underway, and with Thanksgiving a memory, we should all strive to keep the spirit of E3 day alive each and every day. This annual tradition reminds us of our connection to our community and the world around us!