WILMINGTON — On most days, students attending Wilmington City Schools look just like any other student in how they dress. But that wasn’t the case the week of Jan. 23 when students celebrated Unique Week.
As students made their way into the hallways of their respective schools on Monday morning, something was off. Something was different.
There were no brand names or company logos scrolled across student clothing. There were no t-shirts or sports jerseys laying claim to a number-one status.
In fact, there was an awkward hodgepodge of inside-out clothing with exposed seams and pockets as participating students came together to recognize that there are classmates among them that sometimes struggle with expressing themselves on the outside, but in actuality have a great deal on the inside they would like to say.
Because no two people are the same, on Tuesday, students celebrated each other’s differences by wearing mismatched clothing. To an outsider, mismatched students may appear to only be a symbolic gesture. But for students celebrating Unique Week, mismatched fashions opened the door to the discussion that “To make a difference, you must be different.”
Wednesday found students learning how to walk again — by walking in someone else’s shoes. By wearing two different shoes, students reinforced the old adage that you never really understand someone until you walk in their shoes and see the world from his or her perspective.
Thursday brought sunshine to the hallways as students donned their Hawaiian attire in order to create a big splash by being unique.
And on Friday, students proudly sported their orange & black to show their school spirit and honor their school community where students embrace each other’s differences and appreciate and celebrate each other’s unique qualities.
Taking student uniqueness beyond the hallways and the classrooms, students gathered at the Royal Z Lanes in Wilmington where there were some strikes, some spares, and yes even some gutters. But more importantly, there was laughter and cheers celebrating each other and the uniqueness they add to the world.
It was a fun-filled week of unique activities where students learned that there are people in the world who will challenge them and teach them to aspire to do great things, while others might humble them and teach them to show kindness and compassion. And others still that will discover they too have something to share and to teach others.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.