Start With Hello Week

Jumpstart the Start With Hello movement in your school community with activities that connect and unite.

Start With Hello Student Voices award winning submission by Elaijah Wright

Whether your school is in session, you are working with students remotely, or a combination of the two, Start With Hello Week will help break down barriers of social isolation and promote inclusion. Here are some sample activities to inspire children and youth to Start With Hello in September 2020!

Select any week in September and launch the grab-and-go activities in our free planning guide.

What is the Start With Hello program?

This program teaches students in grades K – 12 to help their peers in a fun and meaningful way. They take small but powerful actions to promote inclusion and to support students who are showing signs of loneliness or social isolation.

Why Start With Hello?

Loneliness is the overwhelming feeling of being left out and social isolation is not having frequent interactions with friends. Young people who feel this way may pull away from society, struggle with learning and social development, or choose to hurt themselves or others. Due to COVID-19, all students can empathize with the feelings of isolation due to physical and social distancing. Start With Hello is an important social and emotional learning program to reintroduce students to the power of connecting and helping one another.

When is Start With Hello Week?

Schools can choose any week in September to celebrate Start With Hello. Sandy Hook Promise will recognize participants nationwide, September 21 – 25, 2020.

Who can participate in the call-to-action week?

Any school or community-based organization can participate and share Start With Hello with your community. Use this sample email and sample letter to the editor to invite other schools and youth organizations to join in.

What happens during Start With Hello Week?

Start With Hello Week celebrates the amazing work of educators, students, and community members in building socially inclusive learning environments for all students.

In addition, Start With Hello Week raises awareness about social isolation and educates students on how to prevent it through Start With Hello training, activities, public proclamations, media events, student contests and school awards. Watch the video to see some highlights.

What resources are available?

Educational materials, tools and support from Sandy Hook Promise are available to schools, community-based organizations and others at no cost, thanks to the generosity of our donors.

Start With Hello Week Planning Guide: Download this newly updated, no-cost and easy-to-implement planning guide chock full of ideas, activities and templates that your school or youth organization can do in as little as an hour during Start With Hello Week. Once you register, you’ll have immediate access to educational and promotional materials, and get weekly tips and updates on how to plan for success.

How can we recognize student participation?​

Start With Hello Student Voices Contest: Encourage your students to enter their creative submissions in our Start With Hello Student Voices Contest.

Start With Hello School Award: All schools and youth organizations participating in Start With Hello Week are eligible to apply for a Start With Hello Award.

What languages are the materials available in?

Start With Hello materials are available in Spanish, Haitian Creole (Kreyòl), Portuguese, and Vietnamese. To receive the materials, please sign up to participate in Start With Hello Week.

How can I get Start With Hello Merch?​

Start With Hello bracelets, t-shirts and other materials are available for sale in our online store. Proceeds benefit our programs. Order as soon as possible to ensure delivery in time for your Start With Hello activities! Shop now.

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