PS 58 is named a Respect for All school

From PS 58 Principal Dello Stritto:

It is with great pride that I write to you to announce that PS 58 has been designated a NYC Respect for All School for the 2023-2024 school year!  You will notice two new banners hanging outside the school celebrating this achievement.  

District 15 Superintendent Rafael Alvarez nominated us for this award in recognition of programming that promotes inclusiveness and respect within our school community; the degree of our students’ involvement in this programming; and our school’s completed plan for preventing and addressing harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying as noted in Chancellor’s Regulation A-832.   

The Respect for All initiative is a cornerstone of all that we strive towards as a community here at PS 58 and one that we have been working on for years.  This year, we were excited to debut some new events during Respect for All Week in NYC Schools, February 12th-16th. These events amplified our efforts to help our students understand how important it is to be a community member who supports and respects others. Here are some of this year’s projects and events:

We planted a Tree of Diversity in our main lobby. All classrooms were given frames for self portraits. Extras were left in the lobby for additional community members including after-school staff, recess counselors and office staff. We asked all community members to highlight their uniqueness and create a self portrait. Once assembled, the tree and its leaves created a rich and colorful representation of our community.

We also planted a schoolwide “garden” in our vestibule. Pre-K and Kindergarten students made their mark by painting posters using their unique handprints. Grades 1-5 were each given a topic to focus on. Students in each class were asked to create a collaborative piece promoting their topic. What came together was a beautiful garden blooming with messages on friendship, kindness, respect, trust and diversity. This project captured the wisdom our older students wish to impart to our younger ones: in essence, the legacy they wish to leave behind. 

On Friday, February 15th, we celebrated No One Eats Alone day by mixing up our students’ seating at lunchtime. This is something we do periodically throughout the year. For this initiative, students were given colored squares as they entered the cafeteria and asked to find a table of that same color. This initiative definitely pushes kids beyond their comfort zone and charges them with meeting new peers and creating new bonds. Teachers prepared their students prior for how to approach unfamiliar situations.  They role-played and provided tips for breaking the ice. While it got mixed reviews from some of our older kids, it was overall well received by most. 

Lastly, students were charged with creating mobiles highlighting influential heroines who have impacted history. Teaching facts about each heroine and displaying adjectives and artifacts that capture her impact was both challenging and rewarding. While some familiar favorites were highlighted, heroines such as The Iron Dames, Beatrix Potter, Coco Gauff, Sonia Sotomayor and J.K. Rowling were also studied. 

Thanks to the generous support of our families and PTA, we were able to bring enrichment activities to our school that reach all of our students through multiple entry points for learning. 

For example, our 5th grade students are currently engaged in their residency with the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. This residency helps to support our older students as we learn about discrimination in our history and what role that has played in shaping our country. This helps our students learn how to be informed and compassionate leaders in our community and beyond.  And our kindergarten students enjoyed a partnership with BAM’s Dance Africa residency brought to us by our STRIDE equity team. 

I want to thank our RFA liaisons, Annique Leman and Lori Mendez, for their dedication to these important goals, their creative ideas and hard work in support of these initiatives. We know that this work is ongoing and will continue to be an important cornerstone in our planning and programming. We look forward to the ability to grow this work moving forward. 

Congratulations to the entire PS 58 community!