student and teacher working with letter tiles

2018 Start With Hello Week

Thursday, September 27, 2018

During the week of September 24–28, Landmark Elementary•Middle School students and faculty are participating in Start With Hello Week, part of the Sandy Hook Promise organization’s initiative to decrease social isolation and promote inclusion. It’s an event-packed week, with students engaging in a variety of activities that foster a sense of connectedness and display kindness and empathy.

start with hello weekAt EMS, Start With Hello week focuses on building an inclusive community that decreases social isolation by "saying hello," making friends, and reaching out to support each other with kindness in actions and words.

EMS students are making bookmarks, listening to our student milkbreak band, giving and receiving compliments, saying hello to students and teachers they may not know, wearing Landmark colors and gear, taking part in “Mix it Up” lunches, and enjoying various dining hall treats.

Gun violence, school shootings, and self-harm will not be part of the conversation.

"Start with Hello week is an outgrowth of the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation and ties in with our emphasis on community and culture." said Rob Kahn, EMS head of school. "With students ages 7 to 15 and as a school with a specific mission for a specific population, Landmark EMS benefits in so many ways from a culture that emphasizes inclusion, kindness, and responsibility for everyone's positive experience. We want all our students to feel EMS is a place they have an ongoing responsibility for maintaining.”

Sarah Turnbull, administrative assistant at EMS, organized Start With Hello Week three years ago.

An Opportunity to Learn from Tragedysigns start with hello week

"A few other teachers and I were inspired to bring Start with Hello to Landmark because we think it's incredibly important to learn from a tragedy and create something positive from it," Turnbull said. "We hope that taking part in Start with Hello year after year we can not only continuously improve our Landmark community, but also give our students the tools to help build strong, supportive communities in other schools or environments where they may go after leaving Landmark or during the summertime."