On Wednesday, April 6, Middle School students from Providence Day School led a Round Square Postcard conversation themed “Express Yourself! I AM…” with 70 participants from 13 schools in seven countries (India, USA, Pakistan, Perú, Colombia, France, and Argentina). The Postcard committee, including Middle School facilitators, Director of Global Education Jessica Williams, and Upper School student mentors Tami Alli and Emmi Pinch, spent several months preparing for the discussion.
During the virtual conversation, students shared details about the structure of their school day, how they define fitting in and belonging, what makes them happy, and how they feel about random acts of kindness. At the end of the conversation, students thought through the ways they define themselves and shared those with the other participants.
Middle School Postcard facilitators include Amelia Barber ‘27, Cate Brinley ‘26, Elizabeth Cicoletti ‘26, Iris Cotoman ‘26, Raj Das ‘26, Isha Dwivedy ‘27, Ivy Greer Dyer ‘26, Waverly Heffernan ‘28, Mazie Hoffman ‘28, Hudson Harris ‘26, Maya Kodali ‘26, and Gelila Sisay ‘26. Some of the facilitators shared their reflections on the experience by considering what they felt was the best part of the Round Square experience, what surprised them about the discussion, and advice they would offer to other students as they participate in and lead other Postcards.
"I think that the best part of Round Square is the people you meet. Not only are you in a collaborative space with like-minded individuals but you are also allowed to experience a different point of view and understand what life might be like for someone across the globe. Through Round Square, students are empowered to participate in civil dialogue and step into the mindset of a global citizen. I believe the underutilized tool for definitive change is discussion. So much good can come out of just listening to someone's experience, mindset, or opinion on whatever topic is being presented.
"Something that surprised me about Round Square was that even though the virtual platform, students are engaged and are eager to share their thoughts and opinions but also form connections with their peers. Although highlighting differences in each other's lifestyles and communities has immense value I have found through Round Square I am similar to people thousands of miles away in more ways than one. The sense of community Round Square brings is unparalleled and is something I wouldn't change for the world.
"To any student considering participating and or leading a Round Square Postcard, I say go for it! Put yourself out there because you never know what may come out of the experience. Round Square has allowed me to broaden my worldview and enabled me to deepen my passion for global affairs and humanitarian issues." – Tami Alli ‘23, Upper School mentor
“One of the best parts of being on Round Square was working together to write the script and find out what to talk about. I was very surprised when I heard other people from other schools around the world talk about problems or things we have here and how it’s not too different where they are. If you do choose to lead or participate in a Postcard, I would recommend not being afraid to talk. I made the mistake of waiting to be called on and for everybody to finish but sometimes in order to keep the conversation going, you need to come in and speak.” – Amelia Barber ‘27
“The best part of RoundSquare for me was collaborating before to create the postcard. We had a great time coming together and thinking of different ways to go about the postcard. A great part of Round Square that I didn’t expect was being able to connect with other people on a level that I didn’t expect. I knew that we would have good conversations and I would learn new things, but I felt that I made new connections and learned a lot about how other countries worked and each individual that was on the call. I recommend listening to other people's perspectives because everyone has something to share that is just as valuable and important as your own ideas. You can learn something new from everyone. – Cate Brinley ‘26
“Overall, the whole experience was really interesting to be a part of. For me, planning the actual event, and deciding what important topic to discuss was really cool. But the best part would still have to be just being able to talk to people from around the world, about the things they experience daily and being able to compare that to my own life.
"I was surprised how similar we all are even if we may live halfway across the world from each other. In the end we were just kids all around the same age, living in the same moment.
"Round Square is one of the few opportunities you will be offered to be able to get a small understanding of the other people that live in our world. It opens doors to teach you things you may have never known otherwise. Being a leader for the Postcard is also such a cool experience, you get to control what you want to learn and talk about as a group, which really helps you learn a lot and enhance your leadership skills.” – Elizabeth Cicoletti ‘26
“The best part of my experience was getting to control what direction the conversations went. I liked how the committee and I planned a discussion focused on something more happy and uplifting than the other Round Square meetings that I have been a part of. It was much more enjoyable to leave the Postcard with the feelings of accomplishment and happiness, whereas in the past after the events I felt a little down about the world from hearing all the negative things happening. While it is very important to talk about that, I felt much lighter after having our discussion about identity and expressing yourself.
“It surprised me how there were so many similarities in school systems around the world and how us kids were able to connect. We oftentimes shared the same feelings during similar experiences that I was not expecting kids from Peru, India, Canada, etc., to all have in common. I also enjoyed learning about some differences people in those countries have that I would have never thought of.
“I think it is definitely worth it to participate in a Round Square Postcard. You learn so much and it is such a cool experience to connect with others from around the world. It is a great opportunity to learn more about what is happening in the world and share your own thoughts. I have loved every Round Square meeting I have participated in and I always walk away from them with something new.” – Ivy Greer Dyer ‘26