Start with Hello : 3 circles with the text "See Someone Alone", "Reach out for Help", "Start with Hello"

RSU1 Schools “Start with Hello” to Help End Social Isolation

From September 23 to 27, several RSU1 schools will join the thousands of schools and youth organizations across the United States participating in Start with Hello Week. The initiative raises awareness about social isolation and educates students and the community on ways to create a culture of inclusion and connectedness. 

Social isolation is a growing epidemic in the United States and within our schools, leading to increased risks of violence and early death in our young people. Youth who are isolated may experience bullying, violence, and/or depression, oftentimes causing them to pull further away from society and struggle with learning and social development.

The Start with Hello initiative was started through Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit organization formed to honor victims of gun violence. Programming information and a planning guide are available on the Sandy Hook Promise website, but RSU 1 schools have developed their own ways to participate. For example, Phippsburg Elementary School teachers will be leaving post-it notes on desks with a special “hello” note for each student, and classrooms at Dike Newell School will teach “hello” phrases in four languages (English, Portuguese, Japanese, and French). Many schools will be working Start with Hello activities or themes into their guidance classes, morning meetings, and/or school assemblies.

No matter how our schools choose to integrate the initiative, the objectives of Start with Hello are easy to remember:

  • See Someone Alone

  • Reach Out and Help

  • Start with Hello 

We at RSU1 are proud to carry on the work of Sandy Hook Promise so that we can foster an inclusive environment for all our students. 

To learn more about Sandy Hook Promise and this important issue, you can also watch this short video: Andre Elliot Explains the Sandy Hook Promise