‘Start with Hello’ Promotes Kindness, Inclusivity

‘Start with Hello’ Promotes Kindness, Inclusivity
Published on 10/10/2023
Students holding positive messages

Students in the Comsewogue School District recently learned that spreading kindness, fostering inclusivity and building community all “start with hello.” The District recently participated in the Sandy Hook Promise program, dubbed Start with Hello, to build a more connected school community through social-emotional learning lessons and activities.

“Social isolation has been a major concern among educators throughout the country, especially coming back from the pandemic. Here at Comsewogue, we focus on social-emotional learning and team building to connect our students and create an environment in which everyone feels like they belong and have the tools to succeed,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jennifer Quinn. “The Sandy Hook Promise Start with Hello program is a call to action for our staff and students to ensure everyone here knows they belong.”

Over the course of one week, students took part in various tasks and followed different prompts to promote kindness, while participating in social-emotional lessons in their classrooms. On Monday, students were tasked with starting conversations with new people. On Tuesday, students wore something that reflects their personality and asked each other about what they chose. On Wednesday, staff and students wore green to represent Sandy Hook Promise. On Thursday, students worked on spreading acts of kindness to new people. And on Friday, staff and students wore gold or yellow to represent pediatric cancer awareness.

Some of the week’s activities at Comsewogue High School included an SEL scavenger hunt and a Jenga game for students to get to know each other and interact with peers outside of their social circles. In art classes at Boyle Road Elementary School, students wrote positive messages on “kindness cards” that they gave to their peers, wrote notes thanking adult role models in their lives and colored the sign language peace symbol for “International Peace Day.” JFK Middle School students also wrote messages promoting kindness on large cards that they shared with one another.

Clinton Avenue Elementary School concluded their week with a barbecue for students to build strong relationships with their peers. Terryville Road Elementary School students took part in an SEL assembly, at which they learned the purpose of the Start with Hello program. At Norwood Avenue Elementary School, Principal Theresa DiMichele and Social Worker Alexia Bellini made announcements each morning encouraging different ways for students to get to know each other and break the ice with their classmates.

App users: Visit this link to view pictures from Start with Hello Week.