The past couple of years have been unique for students in many respects. With learning from home much of last year and social distancing at school this year, some are still adjusting to the periods of social isolation.
Troy Shorewood Elementary School counselor Kellie Calderon, along with the school’s Social Emotional Learning Leaders Committee, recently initiated a program at the school to help students who are feeling left out, lonely or alone.
“We have a big group of new students this year,” Calderon said, “and we had a big group of remote learners last year. We recognize a lot of students might feel isolated right now.”
Calderon said the students are learning various ways to reach out and be friendly to each other, while at the same time keeping that important Covid-19 physical distance.
The two-week program is called, “Start with Hello,” and was developed with the Sandy Hook Promise to teach students how to be more connected to each other.
Each day, students learn how to reach out to help others who may be feeling left out.
“Our goal at Shorewood Elementary is for all students to have a sense of belonging and celebrate community and connectedness,” Calderon said. “We strive to build a school community that creates an environment where all students feel safe and comfortable to learn.”
Lessons included showing students how to reach out, how to ask for help, how to say hello in different languages, showing random acts of kindness, how to begin a conversation with someone and how to be someone’s hero.
The first activity involved the school’s 4th grade Student Ambassadors, led by teachers Kristin McGuire and Becky Lara, greeting students with welcoming signs.
The lessons were reinforced with fun dress-up days.
Troy Community Consolidated School District 30-C Press Release