Madeira Elementary School took part in a week full of activities aimed to help build a more connected and inclusive community. Together with the Madeira Police Department, they learned to Start With Hello.
Start With Hello is a prevention program that addresses the fact that in every school and community there are young people who suffer silently because they feel left out, alone or invisible – which in turn can lead to bullying, violence, or depression. Started by the national nonprofit organization Sandy Hook Promise, the program’s goal is to prevent violence in schools by teaching students to ban social isolation. The idea for MES to participate was formulated during the 2018-2019 school year when MES Counselor Emily Nutley and Madeira Police Lieutenant Paul Phillips visited classrooms to educate students about ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training. They made a plan then to connect the school and Madeira community in Start With Hello. Working together, the MES staff and City of Madeira employees helped ensure the district’s youngest students started the new school year being seen and accepted with fun and impactful activities.
The program involves three simple steps: See somebody alone, reach out and help, and start with hello. To help spread that message, students decorated their own name tags to wear for the day on “Hey Day” Monday followed by practicing ways to say “hello” in different languages on Tuesday. Wednesday students and staff wore green for the Sandy Hook Promise, and learned how people greet each other around the world. Students made new at Mix-It-Up at Lunch on Thursday, and Friday the entire school spelled out the word HELLO for a picture taken by a drone. Throughout the week Madeira’s ‘Chalk Bandits’ wrote messages of encouragement and support on the school’s sidewalks and playground and ‘Hello’ signs lined the school’s walls.
Nutley has plans to include Madeira Middle School and Madeira High School in the program in the future.
See a video by the Madeira Police Department and more photos below!