By: Benjamin N., Anushka M., Hansith P.
At Design39Campus, we have a special week called “Start with Hello Week.” “Start with Hello Week” is a week to help promote kindness and awareness among students. It is to help meet new people and build friendships with others so that no one is alone. According to all the interviewees, the objective of “Start with Hello Week” is to meet other students who want or need new friends and ensure nobody is excluded.
Sandy Hook Promise
Sandy Hook Promise is a non-profit organization founded after a school shooting. At the time, this was dubbed the deadliest school shooting in US history. Sandy Hook was the name of the elementary school that was under attack. Sandy Hook Promise was founded to make schools a safer place for students. Sandy Hook Promise is the program that started “Start with Hello Week.”
Ms. Sherri is an Administration Specialist at our school. An Admin Specialist does the job of keeping things in order in the office efficiently. Ms. Sherri specifically focuses on Attendance and supports the entire Welcome Center. She used to be the Student Services Specialist at our school and has organized “Start with Hello Week” in the past. According to Ms. Sherri, the objective of the week is to meet other students that want or need new friends. Some ways that promoted kindness during the week were an informational table and fun activities during lunch. “Start with Hello Week” is a nationwide week in other schools as well. Ms. Sherri recalled that when the school started, they made handprint artwork with the upper grades because they felt older kids had more trouble with asking to sit with someone and needed someone to talk to. We plan to continue this week and continue to grow it more.
Ms. M is the Student Services Specialist at Design39Campus. A Student Services Specialist helps out with campus services and can provide resources and support for students facing academic, friendship, anxiety or peer pressure problems. This year’s “Start with Hello Week” was run by the whole Student Support Services Team–the counselors, interns and Ms. M. The objective, in her perspective, was to bring awareness towards the fact that some people might not feel included because of their differences, so the week was a chance to learn ways to help others feel they belong. She reported that “Start with Hello Week” went really well and had a tremendous impact, as there were 240+ notes of empathy and encouragement written by D39 Students, which hung in the Welcome Center throughout October.
Next time you see somebody alone, go up to them and interact. You never know how important a “hello” could be.