During the last two weeks of September, students across the Brooklyn City Schools demonstrated the importance of kindness and empathy by supporting the Start with Hello campaign sponsored by the Brooklyn High School Key Club. The Start with Hello campaign is a youth violence prevention program created by the national non-profit organization, Sandy Hook Promise. The campaign kicked-off during the week of September 20th at Brooklyn High School, as students were given the opportunity to sign their name to and place a pledge sticker on the “I Will Start with Hello” pledge wall located just outside the cafeteria. All participating students were then given a green beaded necklace to wear all week as a symbol to others that they are someone people can reach out to if they are feeling lonely or isolated. As an additional way to help raise student awareness, all ICE block period teachers shared an informative slide show created by Sandy Hook Promise campaign on Wednesday, September 22nd. Key Club members and students from ICE block periods also visited classrooms and passed out candy suckers to those who were still wearing their green necklaces. On Thursday, September 23rd, any student caught wearing their green necklace was entered into a lunchtime raffle, with twenty-four students receiving a free Dunkin’ donut. The week concluded with Green Day on Friday, September 24th, as students and staff were encouraged to wear green and take photos in front of the pledge wall.
Beginning the week of September 27th, the BHS Key Club hosted the Start with Hello campaign at Brooklyn School. On Monday, September 27th and Tuesday, September 28th, students were encouraged to sign the pledge to always “start with hello” and reach out those who may be experiencing social isolation. To help reinforce the goals of the campaign, Brooklyn School teachers were provided presentation materials from Sandy Hook Promise to show their students on Wednesday, September 29th. On Thursday, September 30th, students were given the opportunity to take a note from a “Giving Tree” and share it with someone in need of encouragement and support. The Start with Hello Campaign concluded with a complete “green-out” on Friday, October 1st, as students and staff wore green clothing and joined Key Club members for some lunchtime photo booth fun!
A special thank you to the BHS Key Club members and advisor, Ms. Jamie Barber, for their outstanding support and efforts on behalf of the Start with Hello Campaign. Be sure to follow the Key Club on their new Instagram account, bhs_key_club_22, to stay up to date on the group’s latest activities and news. Finally, thank you to all Brooklyn students and staff for showing kindness and support for each other.