From Sept. 24 to 28, the Steinbrenner Warriors showed just how united they could stand together for “Start With Hello” week, a program started by Sandy Hook Promise to provide an environment of inclusion and acceptance. This was the first year it was done nationally.
Throughout the school during that week, students showed their inclusiveness by coming to school clad with green, sticking sticky notes onto desks reminding people of their self-worth, having outdoor activities with the clubs during lunch, and even writing in chalk on the pavement.
On the last day of “Hello” week, the band. chorus, and orchestra gathered in the courtyard to play Steinbrenner’s alma mater, ending with the students joining together to form our school symbol with their hands. This was a simple wrap-up to a week with the goal of spreading school-wide inclusivity.
The Sandy Hook Promise website for Hello Week puts down their goal: “By signing up for Start with Hello Week, you are helping to bring attention to the growing epidemic of social isolation and empowering young people in your school or youth organization to create a culture of inclusion and connectedness.” On the same site, they have a page to raise awareness about gun violence, having carefully laid out the website to keep an educating and powerful note on the reader.
“95 people die every day from gun violence. 6 of these people are eighteen and under.” With a community that is accepting and kind to one another, Hello Week is striving to make the nation safer to live in overall.
With current events nowadays, Hello Week could bring the positive change needed. Mass shootings have become very apparent in the media this year, and with the program originating from Sandy Hook, a place where a shooting took place in an elementary school, it’s difficult to not think of the situation schools have been put in. Although Hello Week is a positive week with a positive influence, the circumstances that have led to this national movement are unfortunate.
When asked what she had planned in the future relating to Hello Week, Katie Wiles, the school psychologist that was put in charge of this event, mentioned that there would be another day-long event to correspond with Hello Week in February called “Say Something.” For next year, she said that she would like to have more time to plan ahead in order to plan and reach out to get more clubs involved to have more students actively participating in the event, expressing how happy she was about the clubs that did participate in Hello Week. She wanted to involve the curriculum that went alongside Hello Week that teachers would have a lesson built around more, but due to a lack of time, there wasn’t much of an opportunity it seemed to get as much involvement relating to student and teachers as desired. She made sure to bring up the PTSA and to the parents of Steinbrenner Cares, saying that their involvement was amazing for Hello Week by participating actively throughout the week. She mentioned how terrific it felt to be able to organize a community event like this, and that she felt like the community was the most important part to the success of Hello Week.
Overall, Hello Week is a growing movement across the nation that has taken Steinbrenner this year, and will hopefully follow for years to come in order to spread the kind and hopeful message it wants to give out.
Mia Higinbotham // Staff Writer