CO & BG students "Start With Hello"

Charles Olbon and Beatrice Gilmore Schools both recently worked to "Start With Hello." The initiative was created by Sandy Hook Promise, a national non-profit organization founded and led by family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012.

 The programs were led under the direction of guidance counselors Danielle Indri at Charles Olbon and Donna Farraye at Beatrice Gilmore. “Start With Hello” teaches students the skills they need to reach out to those who may feel alone or isolated. It helps create a culture of inclusion and connectedness in the classroom and among their peers.

At Charles Olbon, the week kicked off with “Hello Day.” Students and staff wore name tags and the mission of the day was to say hello to someone new by name. Tuesday's "Smile Power Day" mission was to smile at as many people possible. On Wednesday, students learned that there are many different ways to say hello. The mission of the day was to learn how to say hello in another language and use it. On Thursday, at lunch, no one ate alone. Miss Indri facilitated conversations with the use of  fun questions. The mission was to learn something new about someone at your lunch table.  And on Friday, staff and students wore green in unity as the Sandy Hook School color is green.

Over at Beatrice Gilmore, the week started on Monday with students watching and discussing the Sandy Hook Promise video, which is a quiet video with examples of students who are alone and students who befriend them in various ways. They wrote on hands pasted to the hallway walls with different ways the students say hello. On Wednesday, teachers worked to teach students how to say hello in different languages. They went over random acts of kindness and have a kindness jar so that the name of anyone who show and act of kindness can possibly win a prize. On Thursday, classes did activities showing how we all have something in common.  On Friday, staff and students wore green in unity and remembrance of the purpose of the week.

Parents are encouraged to speak with their children about what they have learned during the week. As they see you take interest, it assures them you support their actions to create a connected and inclusive home, classroom, school and community. Find out more about the program by visiting www.sandyhookpromise.org/bringstartwithhello. Teachers were also provided online resources from Sandy Hook promise regarding "Start With Hello" Week to use in their classrooms throughout the year.