Congratulations to Say Something Week 2020 Award Winners!

Students in our Say Something program.

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Join us in honoring schools from across the country. Each winner receives national recognition due to their outstanding Say Something Week participation, student leadership, and enthusiasm!

Sandy Hook Promise extends our deepest gratitude to the students, educators, and administrators. They worked in virtual, in-person, and hybrid school environments to launch creative activities, therefore allowing students and trusted adults to connect and help one another during this time.

View the inspiring videos, images, and social posts from the award winners below!

District Winner 

School District of Indian River County, Vero Beach, Florida 

Have you ever heard of a Green Pinky Pledge? You’ll find out about this creative idea when you watch the Indian River County Say Something video highlighting activities that 8,500 middle and high school students participated in. School Resource Officers played a major role in the district-wide celebration.  

Public Information Officer, Cristen Maddux, shared “One of our School Resource Officers, Ross Partee, spoke about the passion and mission of all SRO’s in our county to keep students and staff safe, and the importance of building relationships with students on each campus. We are so proud of our students and schools who participated in Say Something Week. Their innovative activities and school participation captured the attention of the community and our friends on social media, and we were even recognized by the official Sandy Hook Promise Twitter page. Stay tuned in the fall, when we continue fulfilling our sandy hook promise and “Start with Hello” in our elementary schools.” 

School Awards 

Cambridge High School, Garden City, Michigan 

This student-created PSA took inspiration from The Five Man Electrical Band song ‘Everywhere there are Signs’ to produce a silent video with a very serious tone and message and an original music score. Signs were carefully selected and created based on information taken from the Sandy Hook Promise website. School Social Worker Daniel Jones stated that there is symbolism throughout the video and that students learned to be diligent about deadlines because they only had two days to produce this film to be shown at the District Board of Education meeting.   

Madison Middle School, Trumbull, Connecticut 

It was all about building a community of trust at Madison Middle School, especially between students and trusted adults. “I am Your Trusted Adult. I have your back” signs were posted on teachers’ doors and Friday’s theme was “Tip Your Hat to a Trusted Adult.” The SAVE Promise Club-created and narrated video showcases the many activities students engaged in over the course of the week including student-delivered presentations to each grade-level, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Tuesday, and ‘Ride the Kindness Wave’ were a few of those clever activities. 

According to teacher Michaela Durand, “The week fostered a culture of feeling loved and safe in our school. This was our first year having a SAVE Promise Club and we look forward to continuing to reinforce the messages of Sandy Hook Promise through the rest of our school year and in the years to come.”

North Broward Preparatory School, Coconut Creek, Florida 

Be an Upstander, Not a Bystander was the motto of North Broward’s call-to-action week. Upper School students delivered the Say Something presentation to students in the Lower School. The students even held a fundraiser and raised over $300 for Sandy Hook Promise.  

SAVE Promise Club Co-President, Lena Kalandjian, shared “Throughout the week, students were able to submit their own “mini-essays” about their experiences living in a society where school shootings are the norm. The submissions have a chance to be featured in an upcoming publication: The Changing Landscape of Education in an Age of Weaponized School Violence.

One student wrote, “I knew Gina Montalto, one of the 17 victims murdered that day. This is why I am very passionate about participating in the SAVE Promise Club… Our club promotes safety and happiness within our schools and community.” Overall, the unparalleled participation from students was so exciting for us and our club members who worked tirelessly to put this agenda together.” 

Palos South Middle School, Palos Park, Illinois 

Palos South has participated in the Say Something program for five years! They have also continued to reinforce the three steps virtually with posts on Twitter. 

Assistant Principal Meagan Doornbos stated, “In addition, our goal this year was to include members of the community to participate in Call to Action Week. We contacted an alderman to get permission to decorate our downtown area, asked Cook County Police Department and Palos Fire Department to provide signage for outside of our school and to join us on pledge day, reached out to our local library for support, and invited our families and school board to join in on our festivities. As a result of these efforts over time, our students have certainly acted.”

Two years ago, we had 7 students report a concern about one of their classmates to one of our social workers. They shared that they were worried that this classmate had access to weapons and was going to bring them into our building. Because these students sought out their trusted adult, administration was able to take immediate action and handle the situation swiftly. We have noticed that our students are more in tuned with each other’s difficulties and needs over the years. We have so appreciated the opportunity that Sandy Hook Promise has given us to help keep our school safe. With their guidance and leadership, we have been able to not prevent the potential tragedy mentioned above from occurring, but many others as well. And for that…we are grateful!” 

San Ramon Valley High School, Danville, California 

Student leaders Olivia Peluso and Kylie Rashkin took charge of the week and worked with staff and the Sandy Hook Promise organization to make sure that students would properly benefit from what the week had to offer. They decided to concentrate on four main topics for prevention; addiction, suicide, exploitation, and bullying. 

The school shared, “One of the most impactful moments from the week came from a 6th period economics class. The teacher began class by opening the floor to students to share experiences or stories regarding the themes of the week. He gave the opportunity for conversation to occur throughout the entire period. This allowed students to open up and share stories of triumph and victory, but also defeat and sadness in regard to the main themes of the week. Students shared with their peers and were in return filled with comfort and support from each other. The steps taken to support Say Something week in this classroom were a true testament to the impact of the week.”  

Wyandotte High School-Peer Mediators, Kansas City, Kansas 

Peer Mediators decided to focus on social media, as it was identified as a major factor of youth violence in their school community. Students and staff were asked to upload positive pictures and posts on Facebook or Instagram with #saysomethingbulldogs. The student leaders also emphasized a key ingredient to preventing violence: the trusted adult.  Therefore, the mediators asked students to write a postcard to a trusted adult. They wanted students to think about who they could go to when they needed to talk to someone about youth violence. The CTE Teacher Jamie Craig stated, 

“As we were conducting the events throughout the week, I had many students come to me and open up about youth violence they had seen or were experiencing, at that moment. One student broke down because her sister had just attempted suicide the day before and she said she wished she would’ve seen the signs, but didn’t know what to look for. Just seeing the reality of my students and hearing their stories was eye-opening. This is an issue that I advocate for every day because I have lost too many to youth violence. So, even hearing their stories, helped me open up and tell them mine and I believe it brought us closer, as a class, a community, and as a school.” 

Honorable Mention: 

Davis School District, Farmington, Utah. See their contribution.