I was very privileged to have the opportunity to interview Ms. Arizmendi via email to hear her thoughts on this year’s P.S I Love You Day (Week). She gave us a lot of insight into the story of how P.S. I Love You Day came to Centereach and what its future holds.
What inspired you to bring PS I Love You Day to Centereach? Have you had previous ties to the organization?
The year prior to getting this position at Centereach HS, I was doing a leave replacement at Three Village and one of the counselors asked me to help bring P.S I love you day to Murphy JHS for the first time. I had never heard of it before so I did my research on what this day and message was all about and found it was such an important day to recognize and share with our students and staff. When I got my position here, I had such a strong passion for recognizing this day here with our faculty & students and saw what an amazing turn out it was at Murphy. So this year we celebrated our 2nd year and I look forward to the years to come!!
How many students got involved last year? This year? Do you believe more students will participate?
We had many more students this year get involved independently and on their own. And also this year & last we had all 4 classes help by taking a different role in P.S I love you day. This year turned out amazing with the help of all the students & staff, I feel that this event will continue to grow and be something to look forward to.
How was the preparation for this event different this year from last year? What other ideas do you have for next year’s P.S. I Love You Day?
This year was much different in the sense, we had to incorporate it as P.S I love you day WEEK since we currently have the hybrid model into play. In addition, we have the virtual students so we had to get the message out on our google classrooms, website, social media as well to reach those students. This year things went smoother with preparing though, we stayed after for about 3 days with groups of students to help prepare decorations and on the back end we had our life skills students help cut out, copy and color lots of different hearts and messages which was EXTREMELY helpful. As well as some of our honor societies & language classes took on different tasks.
As for next year, I most DEFINITELY want to have that dancing cougar again. That was the highlight of the week. Getting the students to laugh & have fun was so important especially since this year has not been normal whatsoever. And as a new addition, I’d really love to have the DiPalma sisters come to Centereach and do an assembly for all our students. Next year I’d also like to sell P.S I love you day t-shirts so we can have more students/faculty wearing purple and spreading the message.
What advice would you give to other districts who are considering doing this event next year?
Start preparing early! I would also recommend getting the clubs, classes, and student government involved to help spread the word and get more students engaged. It is also important to get the staff on board. I think this year came together so amazing because of the help of our staff. They really helped make this 2021 P.S I love you day WEEK so special and I am so grateful to be a part of such an amazing group of administrators and teachers.
Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
Everyone of us has our own story, sometimes life isn’t always a walk in the park but it is so important to stop and remember that we all have a purpose in this world and our story matters, we matter, and together we will most definitely rise. If this day can allow our students and faculty to be reminded of this important message, then it is all worth it.