By: Caitlin Alleman
Jefferson students kicked off their month of kindness celebrating the nationally recognized, ‘Start with Hello Week’ which took place on February 6th to February 10th. On Monday our students gathered in the auditorium to learn more around the importance of reaching out to those who look lonely or sad through a guided presentation created by the non-profit organization, Sandy Hook Promise. Each day our student celebrated the week with themed days. Some of these days included wearing green to show our unity in supporting this initiative, mixing it up at lunch with those they sat with, and creating images at recess to decorate our halls as we support Starting with Hello not only this week, but throughout the remainder of the school year. Our students were also invited to participate in a Start with Hello poster contest which brought much excitement and creativity to the discussion around practicing inclusion. Jennifer Gold-Ostrega, a Sandy Hook Promise Leader who kindly brought this initiative to our school, joined one of our staff meetings following an interactive lead review of the emergency management procedures. Jenn was impressed with the thoughtful dialogue and questions Kim Hutchison and Laura Swyberius allowed room for and went on to thank the school for engaging in these proactive measures through character education, school wide initiatives, and thorough staff training regarding safety procedures. Jenn shared her gratitude in our school capturing the mission behind of Sandy Hook Promise’s vision for schools throughout the country and her excitement to continue to support this work for years to come.