At Hunter, we make every effort to instill in our students the qualities of responsibility, honesty, and self-awareness. We try to teach them to be flexible, critical thinkers, and compassionate.
Being a career or technical school, there are no summer vacations or spring breaks as there are in public schools. So in order to give students a chance to blow off steam and pat themselves on the back at the same time, both campuses reward them with a daylong picnic. This year the Levittown campus held its barbecue at Eisenhower Park in Westbury on July 21. The event is always held on a Friday, allowing everyone to easily slip into the weekend.
See if you can spot yourself, your friends, and your loved ones in these photos. (Continue reading below photos.)
Jim Fetter, chairperson for the Computer Technician Networking Specialist program, slaved over a hot grill in temperatures that were in the high eighties. But food did not stop at the usual barbecue fare. There were hero sandwiches, salads, snacks, and lots of soda and water to stay hydrated. Since Hunter prides itself on a diverse population, we of course could not forget our vegetarian peers.
Students were allowed to bring parents, children, spouses, girlfriends, and boyfriends. Even though students interact socially between classes and at lunch on regular school days, the relaxed atmosphere at the picnic lent itself to a more telling and deeper exploration of each other’s lives through free and easy conversation. Being able to wear normal summertime, casual clothing also made everyone more easygoing and conversational.
Someone brought her dog, and each kid who came with a parent was cuter than the next. People tend to sit with their classmates each year, but an equal number of students roam and mingle with others. Hunter is purposely a small school so students may be afforded more individual attention and more easily make connections with other students. This not only helps with networking for future career goals but also enhances social skills that are necessary at every stage and level of life.
I, myself, made a new connection. One of my students invited her firefighter boyfriend to the picnic. Knowledge of fires, how they start, and how to handle them are part of the Medical Assistant curriculum. I arranged for him to come to the school in the near future to instruct our students.
The picnic is not the only fun thing we do at Hunter during the year. But there’s nothing like being outdoors in the sunshine for no other purpose than to enjoy one’s self, be with other people, children, and the occasional dog.