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To combat bullying ‘Start With Hello’ Week promotes a culture of inclusion for young people

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By Tuesday, Sep 4, 2018 Letters 1

To the Editor:

Recently, as we begin the school year, we’ve read in the media about bullying in Lenox schools, and I’ve a hunch Lenox isn’t the only town facing this issue. I offer a call to our cities and towns in Berkshire County to take advantage of a free program offered by Sandy Hook Promise. Superintendents, principals, parents, listen up!

Social isolation is the overwhelming feeling of being left out, lonely, or treated as if you were invisible. Young people who are isolated can become victims of bullying, violence, and depression. As a result, many further pull away from society, struggle with learning and social development, or choose to hurt themselves or others.

We can change this.

‘Start With Hello’ Week is coming up this September 24–28. ‘Start With Hello’ Week brings attention to the growing epidemic of social isolation and empowers young people to create a culture of inclusion and connectedness within their school, youth organization, and community. ‘Start With Hello’ Week raises awareness and educates students and the community through Start With Hello trainings, advertising, activities, public proclamations, media events, student contests, and school awards. Participation in ‘Start With Hello’ Week is free.

This program is organized by Sandy Hook Promise, a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. Sandy Hook Promise is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six educators. They are focused on preventing gun violence (and other forms of violence and victimization) BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing youth and adults on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene, and help at-risk individuals.

To bring ‘Start With Hello’ to your school or youth organization, please visit: www.sandyhookpromise.org/swhw. Or contact olshuff@gmail.com if you have questions. This is a program proven to make a difference. Let’s do it.

Susan Olshuff


One Comment   Add Comment

  1. Naomi Spatz says:

    Blechman’s article on Winchester is just great. I am a longtime fan of Winchester and now a fan of Blechman as well. Thank you.

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