WLMS Students Start With Hello

Students and staff at Wellington Landings Middle School celebrated “Start with Hello Week” from Oct. 22 through Oct. 26. Start with Hello Week is designed to encourage student connections on campus.

Various activities and discussions were planned at Wellington Landings to help students form new connections.

The WLMS Student Government Association signed a proclamation declaring Oct. 22-26 Start with Hello Week. Students wore name tags so that they could greet each other by name. They participated in a human bingo game to learn more about their classmates, and they were encouraged to make new connections by sitting with students they did not know in the cafeteria.

Students also participated in discussions about social isolation — the feeling of being left out, lonely and treated like you are invisible. Young people who are isolated can become victims of bullying, violence or depression. WLMS students discussed ways to reach out to others who might feel isolated, perhaps making a new friend or even saving a life in the process.

Start with Hello Week is likely to become an annual event on the Wellington Landings campus. The initiative was led by the guidance team and was spearheaded by sixth grade guidance counselor Kenfis Tormes-Garcia. Various clubs and organizations helped provide leadership for the school-wide event.

Start with Hello Week is a program initiated by Sandy Hook Promise, an organization founded in Newtown, Conn., after the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting tragedy. Sandy Hook Promise provides programs designed to protect children from gun violence. Start with Hello Week is intended to help students understand the skills they need to create a culture of inclusion and connectedness.