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Lacy promotes Hello Week

Smile Wall at Lacy.

Lacy Elementary students participated in the national “Start with Hello Week,” which is an effort by the Sandy Hook Promise Organization to make all students feel included and less isolated.

The Sandy Hook Promise was created to promote connectedness and inclusion, and to identify and help lonely students who are showing signs of social isolation.

According to Lacy counselor Maitee Helms, there were different activities each day to help promote the “Hello Week” mission.

On Monday, everyone wore a "Hello, my name is…" nametag.

“I loved the name tags,” said teacher Paula Mora. “It helped me learn the names of some students that are not in my classes.”

In addition to the nametags, students had the opportunity to interact with other classmates.

“Students practiced saying hello and learned how to say hello in different languages,” Ms. Helms said. “They learned just saying hello to someone can help them feel included.”

Students received compliment cards on Tuesday and practiced giving compliments to their classmates.

Random Acts of Kindness were encouraged as part of Wednesday’s activities.

“On Thursday, students practiced friendly facial and hand gestures to say hello,” Ms. Helms said. “Such as a wave, wink, smile, peace sign, thumbs up.”

To conclude Hello Week, Lacy students placed the name of someone who made them smile during the week on the “Smile Wall.”

“I think our first Hello Week went really great, and the kids loved it,” said teacher Rhonda Jones. “They were all eager to participate.”

Although none of the activities was elaborate, Ms. Helms said it’s even the small things that help build a positive school culture.

“The students take small but powerful actions to promote connectedness and inclusion,” she said. “We want to continue to be proactive and identify students who may feel lonely and left out.”