On Thursday, upper school students, faculty and staff took part in the Challenge Day program, an energetic all-day program in which students and adults were led through a series of learning experiences, such as games and small group discussions. These activities are designed to empower school community members to improve self-esteem, discourage peer pressure while encouraging peer support and to end the acceptance of identity-based bullying, racism and harassment. While topics of discussion were often serious, there was plenty of time set aside for joy and laughter, such as when participants were instructed to cheer with excitement at the mention of playing a game. Moments like these were designed to help students and adults meet as equals outside of the usual hierarchy of school communities.
Challenge Day was founded in 1987 to provide social-emotional learning workshops to school communities. In the years since, Challenge Day programs have been held in more than 2,200 schools in the US, Canada and Europe. The program has received coverage from Oprah Winfrey, Tom Brokaw and was featured in the MTV series “If You Really Knew Me.”