Sandy Hook Promise Announces Winners for its Say Something Call-to-Action Week

We're proud to announce the winners of our second annual Say Something Call-to-Action Week. The proven Say Something program teaches youth and adults the signs of at-risk behavior and how to properly intervene before someone hurts themselves or someone else. The call-to-action week invites schools and communities across the country to teach youth and teens how to be “upstanders” in their community instead of being bystanders.

From October 24th through the 28th, SHP hosted its 2nd Annual Say Something Call-to-Action week. Hundreds of middle schools and high schools in 49 states participated in engaging weeklong activities. To galvanize the schools to make the program and activities their own, a contest was held. The schools that went above and beyond to incorporate the core values of Say Something into their school culture, as well as the community at large, are now being rewarded for all of their hard work. This year, SHP has expanded its awards to three categories, which include the grand prize, as well as awards for those who demonstrated student spirit and creativity and community outreach.   

The Say Something grand prizewinner for 2016 is Steele Canyon High School in Spring Valley, CA, as student ambassadors took full ownership of planning and executing a series of events throughout the week to galvanize students. They created posters, decorated the campus, ran lunchtime activities, created and produced videos for school-wide broadcasts which opened up dialogue in the classrooms, sent a letter to parents informing them of the program and encouraging conversation at home, and ran an Instagram campaign and competition to engage students via social media, among other events. All of their students participated in at least one Say Something activity during the week. Steele Canyon High School also received an honorable mention during last year’s call-to-action week and has sustained Say Something throughout the year. As the grand prizewinners, the students will receive a Say Something plaque, a personal visit from SHP with media and a videographer, Promise Club Seed Money in the amount of $2,500, mention and recognition on SHP’s social media channels and related materials.

The winners of Say Something Student Spirit, Creativity and Sustainability and the Say Something Community Reach and Sustainability categories are Dutchtown High School in Hampton, GA and Harvest Middle School in Napa, CA respectively.

Dutchtown High School’s Peer Mediation Team took the lead on energizing their peers by setting up a table in the commons area/lunchroom to educate students about the Say Something program. They encouraged students to take the pledge of looking for warning signs and acting immediately if they see or hear something by telling a trusted adult or by writing an anonymous note and dropping it into a Say Something box in the counseling office, which will remain for the rest of the year. The Peer Mediation team also went into classrooms to discuss bullying and how students can report school violence.

Harvest Middle School not only held events at their school, but also expanded its reach to the community by setting up a table at the school’s fall festival where parents and community leaders also learned about Say Something. Leading up to the festival, student leaders planned all of the events and created PowerPoints, videos, padlets and activities. Student leaders also created a photo booth for students, as well as took a photo with ¾ of the school in the shape a heart that was shared via social media. It was the first time the school had done anything like that.

For being the winners of the Say Something Student Spirit, Creativity and Sustainability and Say Something Community Reach and Sustainability categories, Dutchtown High School and Harvest Middle School each will receive a Say Something plaque, a personal visit from SHP with media and a videographer, Promise Seed Club Money in the amount of $1,000 and mention on SHP’s social media channels and related materials.

The runners up for the Say Something Student Spirit, Creativity and Sustainably Award are: John Reed Middle School in Redding, CT and Harding/Garfield Middle School in Lakewood, OH, and the runners up for the Say Something Community Reach and Sustainably Award are: Clark Lane Middle School in Waterford, CT and Medina High School in Medina, OH. Each of these schools will receive a Say Something plaque, Promise Club Seed Money in the amount of $500 and mention on SHP’s social media channels and related materials.

“To date, our Say Something program has helped countless students across the country diffuse potential acts of violence as well as helped those who were thinking of harming themselves,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of 6-year old Dylan Hockley who was killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy. “Whenever we do Say Something presentations, there is always someone who approaches me or our Promise Presenters with a concern about their friend or a potential threat. Youth and teens see and hear things that adults can’t, that is why it is so important for us to train them to look out for one another, be upstanders and to intervene by saying something if they see an individual exhibiting at-risk behaviors.”

In 4 out of 5 school shootings, the attacker told someone of his/her plans prior to the attack and 70% or people who complete suicide told someone of their intention or gave some type of warning. SHP’s Know the Signs programs, including Say Something, educate young people and adults about the warning signs and to how to intervene before it’s too late.  

In the past 22 months, SHP has trained over 1.340 million youth, teens and adults in at least one of its four Know the Signs programs, including Say Something. SHP also released a powerful PSA titled “Evan” in December 2016, which received over 115 million views worldwide.

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national, nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. We are led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and 6 educators. Sandy Hook Promise is focused on preventing gun violence (and other forms of violence) BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing parents, schools and communities on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible non-policy and policy solutions that protect children and prevent gun violence. Our intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation.