Sandy Hook Promise’s Start With Hello Week came to our school recently. We worked on acknowledging that anyone and everyone can feel alone. The 8th grade leadership elective, Startership, worked hard to make the event as organized and fun as possible. The class created each day’s themes and activities. Monday, we had comfy clothes day and said “Hello!” to other students in multiple languages through a video compiled by the class. Tuesday, we had assemblies for every grade on Start With Hello and how simple things can change someone’s life. We were fortunate enough to have the LA Kings as our special guests at the school! They had a press release announcing their partnership with Sandy Hook Promise, in addition to their Enough campaign, hosted in our school’s MPR. They toured our campus later to introduce themselves to classes. Wednesday was Wacky Wednesday where students were encouraged to come to school as wacky and wany as possible, followed by a photo booth in the bowl. There was Tropical Thursday, where tropical clothing was encouraged, followed by fruit punch in the bowl at lunch. Friday had everyone come in HVS colors to show their school spirit! The Startership class then held a school-wide raffle for prizes! 7th grader, Ayusha R., won the Start with Hello T-shirt, 8th grader, Parker J., won the art kit, and 6th grader, Sam M., won the Penny Board.
Our school is becoming closer to each other, and hopefully that will continue into the future. Start With Hello Week is just the ice breaker to create habits of talking to new people. When people find out how easy it is, they are bound to do it again and again. The goal is to foster feelings of joy and camaraderie between students, but most importantly let them know that they can make a difference. We want students all over campus to know that they are NOT alone, and we are here for them.
We encourage students to continue to start with “Hello!” If you notice that someone is alone, include them. If you see someone hurting, empathize with them and let them know you’ll be there. Make sure every one of your fellow students knows that this campus is a safe place for everybody.