Start With Hello!
Dingman-Delaware Middle School, along with numerous other academic institutions in our area are participating in “Start with Hello” during the week of September 24 to September 28, 2018. This program, is one of many that was initiated by the Sandy Hook Promise. After the terrible tragedy of Sandy Hook, Students and Faculty were looking for ways to combat violence and help students deal with loneliness and isolation. The Sandy Hook Promise has established many programs including, Say Something, Safety Assessment and Intervention, and Start with Hello.
Start with Hello is an initiative to reach out to someone who may need a smile or simply a hello to show someone cares. This project was implemented on behalf of our social work intern, Dana Davanzo as a means of combating social isolation here at Dingman-Delaware Middle School. In order to jump start conversation one student in each homeroom was handed a laminated smiley face. The idea of the smiley face is to have them passed around to students in the hallway who may need a SMILE. It is our goal that this will help our students be more social, more aware, and more accepting of all their peers.
Social isolation has been shown to have a correlation with suicidal ideations, violence, depression, and other negative behaviors among adolescents. Our purpose here at the Dingman-Delaware Middle School is not only to educate our students but to surround them with a culture of inclusiveness and connectedness. We hope to model and show students that there are people who care and people who will listen if they are feeling down and out.