DANBURY, Conn. -- Broadview Middle School in Danbury was recently presented with a $10,000 check for its participation in “Start with Hello,” a program supported by the anti-violence campaign, Sandy Hook Promise.
“’Start with Hello’ puts the power in our hands to make the world a better place,” said Declan Jacobson, a Broadview student and member of the leadership program.
SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in a mass shooting at a Newtown elementary school in December 2012.
“This is really a special school,” said Nicole Hockley of SHP, noting that the school did not just participate in the Call-to-Action week, but also embraced the program by creating a permanent culture of inclusion. “The way you live this every day, you are changing the world. It is our honor to be here today.”
“I feel a beautiful warmth from this school,” said Mark Barden of SHP. “What you are doing . . . is truly a model for other schools across the country. There is more to just the activities. There is a genuineness that you can’t make up.”
Danbury’s Pembroke Elementary School was one of eight schools that earned Honorable Mention.
More than 360,000 students in grades 2 through 12 from nearly 600 schools nationwide participated in the SHP's “Call-to-Action” week in February.
“Start with Hello” addresses social isolation, a growing epidemic in schools and across the country, and refers to the overwhelming feeling of being left out, lonely and treated as being invisible.
Students helped to make “Start with Hello” a part of their school routine because they don’t want anyone to ever feel left out.
This program teaches students the skills necessary to reach out and include those who may be dealing with chronic isolation. It empowers students to create a culture of inclusion and connectedness within their school.
Research supports that excessive feelings of isolation can be associated with violent and suicidal behavior.
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