By Elementary School Counselor Carla Rand

Mineral Point students, grades 2-5, will be participating in “Start with Hello” the week of September 24-28.

Start with Hello is a campaign coming out of the Sandy Hook Promise (SHP). SHP was started by some family members of students killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012.

Social isolation has been a common factor among many of the perpetrators of school violence as it was with the Sandy Hook shooter. It is SHP’s goal to prevent gun violence BEFORE it happens.

Start with Hello is a campaign intended to help students understand social isolation and the effects, to help them empathize and connect with those affected. In every school and community there are individuals who are suffering because they feel alone, invisible or left out. Young people who feel isolated may retreat further from others, have difficulty with learning and social interactions and sometimes choose to hurt themselves or others.

Start with Hello teaches students ways they can reach out and include those who are suffering from social isolation and help create a culture of inclusion in their schools where everyone feels connected.

1. See Someone Alone
2. Reach Out & Help
3. Start With Hello

The above three steps are something we all can do to help make our school and community an inviting place to be.