North Arlington High School, in partnership with Sandy Hook Promise, a national, non-profit organization led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., is taking part in National Start With Hello (SWH) Week, Feb. 6 to 10.
Start with Hello teaches students in grades 2 to 12 the skills needed to reach out to and include those who may be dealing with chronic social isolation and create a culture of inclusion and connectedness within a school or youth organization.
Social isolation is the overwhelming feeling of being left out, lonely or invisible. It is a growing epidemic in the United States and within schools. Excessive feelings of isolation can be associated with violent and suicidal behavior. In fact, one study reports that chronic loneliness increases risk of an early death by 14%.
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.
SWH Week is intended to raise awareness and educate students and the community through focused training sessions, advertising, activities, public proclamations, media events, contests and school scholarship awards and to empower young people to create a culture of inclusion and connectedness within their school or youth organization.
The weeklong series of events includes an assembly, a Start With Hello wall to allow students to express their commitment to the cause, Wear Green Day, No One Eats Alone Day and a community proclamation recognizing Start With Hello Day.
North Arlington High School and Sandy Hook Promise is asking schools, student clubs, parents and community leaders to visit www.sandyhookpromise.org/bringStartWithHello to learn how to begin using the SWH program resources in their classrooms, schools, communities and homes.