building communities full of acceptance

Stand Together

Born: May 9, 2018

Purpose: to discuss the importance of creating safe spaces full of understand, appreciation, and acceptance of one another.

Current Location: Panorama Village, State College PA 16801

Created by: State College Area School District ESL Students in grades k-12 in collaboration with Mel Forkner Lesher and Marisa Vicere of Jana Marie Foundation

Sponsored by: State College Area School District

“Stand Together”

“Inclusion is a way of thinking, a way of being, and a way of making decisions about helping everyone belong. – Unknown

Creating environments that respect diversity and encourage understanding, appreciation, and acceptance of all sets the scene for fostering positive self-identity and self-esteem.

Through a series of activities and discussions, students engaged in dialogue about what a welcoming environment looks, feels and sounds like. The students participated in games that highlighted commonalities to build connections, reflected inward to celebrate their strengths and the qualities that make them unique, and explored cultural diversity.

This Stomper is named “Stand Together” to remind us to create inclusive and fair environments where everyone is celebrated and appreciated for who they are and the strengths they have to offer.

– “Stand Together” was created by State College Area School District ESL Students in grades K-12 with the generous support of their administration, counselors and teachers.

A sense of belonging is essential to inclusion. Just sharing physical space is not enough; when we work to create meaningful relationships and experiences to fully include students of all different backgrounds, everyone benefits.

Creating a truly inclusive environment in school settings means not only making appropriate adaptations to academics but also fostering the social and emotional environment.

“Stand Together” was made possible by the generous support from State College Area School District.

Our Artists: Chris Bittner, Marisa Vicere, Nancy Vicere

Curriculum Hosting Sites: Easterly Parkway, Mount Nittany Elementary, Park Forest Elementary School, Radio Park Elementary School, Mount Nittany Middle School, Park Forest Middle School, State College Area High School

Our Partners: Jeanne Knouse, Lisa Harpster



It was hard moving to a new school from a different country. Everything is different.  My teachers helped me feel more comfortable. I most like it when people smile at me in the hallways.

Stand Together Stomper Participant

My name is Stand Together and I am passionate about creating acceptance and promoting diversity. I challenge people to have conversations and create spaces where acceptance of diversity is centered.


Love, stand together

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There is help. There is hope.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health concern or crisis, please reach out for help.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line: Text PA to 741741

Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386

Trans Life Line: 1-877-565-8860