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.
Learn more about the writer ...
Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.