SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere) Promise Clubs are a place for students to show their leadership, creativity, and passion for protecting their friends, schools, and communities from violence before it happens. Established and led by students, the National Youth Advisory Board consists of high school SAVE members from across the country. In celebration of Start With Hello Week, Sept. 24 to 28, guest blogger and student leader, Daniel Lopez, shares his school’s plans for this year’s call-to-action week.
By: Daniel Lopez, high school student, SHP SAVE Promise Club Youth Advisory Board Member
At my school, Start With Hello (SWH) is an effective and crucial program for us to have. Start with Hello brings students together by helping them meet new people and come out of their comfort zones. It opens everyone’s eyes to emotions and issues that we may never think someone is going through, and it helps students identify those signs and how they can help their peers, simply just by saying “hello”!
There are many types of activities you can do during Start With Hello Call Action Week. At my school, we start the week off by presenting Start with Hello to fellow students and encouraging them to participate in the week’s events. Every day throughout the week we have a booth set up where we pass out wristbands, play music, have games for students to play, snacks, and a photo booth. At the photo booth, we make our own SWH themed props, frames, and backdrops. Additionally, we create a unique geo-filter on Snapchat. This allows students to take pictures and post them using the SWH filter on Snapchat or save and share on other networks!
We ensure each weekday is dedicated to a certain activity. One of my favorite activities to start the week off with is “Hey Day.” In the past, we’ve had students write their names on a “Hello, my name is…” sticker with an adjective that describes them starting with the same letter as their name. For example, I would use “Delightful Daniel”. After students have filled out their name tags, they go out and meet five new people to discuss their adjective with and why it’s significant to them. This year, we will be expanding on “Hey Day” and working to make is more interactive by incorporating a scavenger hunt!
I am looking forward to this year’s SWH Week as we are going above and beyond at my school! Below is our calendar for the week, but schools should try to make it their own or expand on our activities, whatever is going to make the most impact for each school!
No matter what activities you do during Start with Hello Week, it’s always lots of fun and brings so many students together!
If you’d like to keep up with our activities, check in with us on Instagram at @arckennedy and @sandyhookpromise, or on Twitter at @kennedy_arc and @SandyHook. Don’t forget to tag us in your posts and let us know how your week is going! Your school culture will be so enriched by this program and will become so inclusive and connected. Good luck and can’t wait for you to #StartWithHello!