Irvington Diversity Foundation
August 2010 A Plan of action is developed by IMS Principal David Sottile, IHS Principal Scott Mosenthal and District Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Scott Palermo with the help of fellow Diversity Task Force Members including Police Chief Michael Cerone, Mayor Brian Smith, Residents Mike Zeldes, Pedro Ceron, Carlos Berreto, Robin powell and Julia Wexler. The plan was created after the Task force held six working sessions over the summer that included experts in the area of Diversity and Bullying programs for Public School systems.
September 2010: Anonymous Climate Surveys are completed by all students at IMS and IHS. Results showed depth of a problem administrators and parents did not contemplate.
Student filmmakers and World of Difference (WOD), (formerly ADL Club) members create a DVD for Connections Assemblies at IMS and IHS. DVD is shown to all MS and HS students and WOD members led small group discussions after the assembly.
DVD is then featured at Town Hall meetings in January and March of 2011. The ideas and plan for the Irvington Diversity Foundation is articulated to the community. $3200.00 is raised through individual donations. News 12 covers the first event.
Town of Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner is very impressed with the effort of students who created the DVD and recognize them formally with Certificates of Appreciation at a Public Town of Greenburgh Board meeting.
One IHS Student and member of WOD attended an all day symposium on Diversity in March 2011.
IDF incorporates, March 2011.
Holocaust survivor spoke to 8th graders, April 2011. 8th graders visit the US Holocaust Museum.
Grants are sought and funded by the PTSA and IEF to pay for IMS and IHS faculty training in Restorative Practices and Facing History, Facing Ourselves. $22,000 is raised to conduct comprehensive training for faculty.
First Restorative Practices Training was held in June 2011 and trained 35 individuals to facilitate conferences.
Social Studies teachers from IMS and IHS get training on Facing History, Facing Ourselves in Summer 2011.
October 2011 all IMS and IHS Faculty members are trained on Restorative Practices at a Superintendents Day. Now all IMS and IHS faculty have learned the basic concepts of this powerful alternative dispute resolution program and can use it in the classroom not just for major offenses.
April 2012, Holocaust survivor speaks to 8th graders. Same students visit the US Holocaust Museum.
April 21st, 2012 at 7PM, our fundraiser Come Together…Irvington Talent Rocks! sold out the Irvington Campus Theater (over 700 seats). There was an incredible line up of student, teacher and resident talent performing. Over 100 students in all. Dr. Mosenthal, Mr. Sottile, Dr. Kor were there and spoke, along with a video made of Mr. Lichtenwalner. Mayor Smith, Chief of Police Cerone and Detective Toolan also spoke about the dangers of bullying.
Along with some incredible dancing and singing, we revealed new footage of students and teachers explaining how harassment to other because of something that makes them “different” is more hurtful than most people can realize. Part of the show introduced the community to the Dignity for all Students Act that makes providing a safe, harassment free learning environment mandatory and all incidents of biased related harassment will be reported to the NYS Education Department. The IDF raised $16,145.00 from this event. (Our expenses for the event and yearly insurance costs totaled $6,312.00 leaving a balance $9,833.00).
On May 22, 2012, world-renowned speaker Katie Koestner presented A Cyber World of Trouble to the Irvington and Rivertown communities. She spoke on internet safety and the dangers and consequences of cyberbullying. This presentation was sponsored by the IDF, PTSA, IEF and Temple Beth Abraham, Immaculate Conception Church and Church of St. Barnabus.
October 2012, The Bully Movie is brought to the Greenburgh Multiplex Cinema with a panel discussion afterwards. Sponsored by IDF, The Fusion Academy, Westchester Group Works and Center Lane.