Middlebrook Elementary School students, in grades three through five, along with staff and faculty members, participated in Start with Hello Week September 24-28. An initiative started by the Sandy Hook Promise, Start with Hello Week teaches students how to help peers who may be dealing with social isolation and promote a culture of inclusion, acceptance, and connectedness within the community.
Staff members worked together with a group of fourth and fifth graders after school to plan and implement activities for the week-long event, which began with a kickoff assembly on Monday. Students and staff were asked to wear green this day, and each student received a green bracelet to commemorate the occasion.
On Tuesday, students volunteered to arrive early to school in order to greet everyone who walked through the doors in the morning with a “hello” and smiley face emoji sticker.
Wednesday was “Shout-Out Day” in the cafeteria, where students wrote kind messages and compliments on poster board during their lunch waves. These were hung up around the school for all to see. On Thursday, student-created posters were displayed throughout the building that said “Hello” in the 15 different languages within our school population. Students were encouraged to try saying hello in different ways based on the posters.
To end the week of activities, on Friday, grade level classes across the hall from each other partnered together to write inspirational/positive notes which were then randomly stuck on each other’s’ lockers. This initiative was led by the school’s Kindness Connects Club advisors Luann Donovan, Sheila Marini, and Amanda Schaefer, Student Council advisors Abby Baldino and Kelly Ginand, as well as Carol St. John, the school’s Technology Integration Specialist.