Thank you for helping get your local school or youth organization involved in Start with Hello week! Simply copy the message below and email it to your local school principal or youth organization director.
Dear [insert the name of your local school principal or youth organization director],
I am [a parent/community member/neighbor] and I am asking you to help empower our young people to create a culture of inclusion and connectedness by participating in Start With Hello Week this February 5–9, 2018.
Social isolation is the overwhelming feeling of being left out, lonely or treated like you are invisible. It is a growing epidemic in the United States and within our schools. Excessive feelings of isolation can be associated with violent and suicidal behavior. In fact, one study reports that chronic loneliness increases our risk of an early death by 14%. Furthermore, young people who are isolated can become victims of bullying, violence and/or depression. As a result, many further pull away from society, struggle with learning and social development and/or choose to hurt themselves or others.
We can change this!
Start With Hello Week is this February 5–9. Start With Hello Week brings attention to the growing epidemic of social isolation and empowers young people to create a culture of inclusion and connectedness within their school, youth organization and community. Start With Hello Week raises awareness and educates students and the community through Start With Hello trainings, advertising, activities, public proclamations, media events, student contests, and school awards. Participation in Start With Hello Week is free and easy to implement.
Start with Hello teaches students, grades 2-12, the skills they need to reach out to and include those who may be dealing with chronic social isolation. This creates a culture of inclusion and connectedness within their school or youth organization. In addition to young people, Start With Hello will benefit educators, administrators, community-based organization leaders and parents. By building a culture of inclusion and connectedness, schools and communities can better support their young people and reduce their risk of bullying, violence and depression.
Start With Hello Week is organized by Sandy Hook Promise, a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. Sandy Hook Promise is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and 6 educators. They are focused on preventing gun violence (and other forms of violence and victimization) BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing youth and adults on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals. For more about Sandy Hook Promise, please visit: www.sandyhookpromise.org.
Please help empower our young people to create a culture of inclusiveness and prevent violence before it takes place. Please sign up to participate in Start With Hello Week today at: https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/swhw.
[Insert full name, email and phone number]