Title

Start With Hello: Teaching Empathy and Empowering Youth to End Social Isolation in Three Steps

Format

Workshop

First Presenter's Institution

Sandy Hook Promise

First Presenter’s Email Address

annie.stephens@sandyhookpromise.org

First Presenter's Brief Biography

Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to end school shootings and create a culture change that prevents violence and other harmful acts that hurt children. Through its life-saving, evidence-informed Know the Signs prevention programs, SHP educates and empowers youth and adults to recognize, intervene, and get help for individuals who may be socially isolated and/or at risk of hurting themselves or others. Through nonpartisan policy and partnerships, SHP advances gun safety, youth mental health, and violence prevention education at the state and federal levels that protect all children from gun violence in their schools, homes, and communities. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.     Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) was founded following the death of a student by gun violence in Charlotte, NC in 1989.  In 2017 Sandy Hook Promise merged with SAVE and since then SAVE Promise Clubs have been a major vehicle to sustain violence prevention messages in schools across the country with over 3400 clubs in 49 states.  SHP’s SAVE Promise Club Staff consists of experienced Violence Prevention Educators from many different backgrounds:  SAVE Promise Club Manager, Annie Stephens. Annie came to Sandy Hook Promise in 2015 to put her corporate sales background and lifelong passion for youth-led prevention to good use, elevating students as community builders and changemakers. Since coming to SHP, she has worked tirelessly in partnership with communities throughout the Midwest and Northeast to bring Sandy Hook Promise’s lifesaving Know the Signs programs to schools, leveraging those relationships to create space and opportunities for SAVE Promise Clubs, and amplifying the youth voice.

Second Presenter's Institution

Sandy Hook Promise

Second Presenter’s Email Address

Jim Wise

Second Presenter's Brief Biography

SAVE Promise Club Manager, Jim Wise LCSW. Jim is a retired School Social Worker with over 30 years working with Middle and High Schools in North Carolina.  He has also been actively involved with SAVE Promise Clubs as an advisor and Board Member for over 25 years.

Third Presenter's Institution

Sandy Hook Promise

Third Presenter’s Email Address

carleen.wray@sandyhookpromise.org

Third Presenter's Brief Biography

SAVE Promise Club Director, Carleen Wray. Carleen has over 30 years working in Violence Prevention programming.  She has worked for the North Carolina Center for Violence Prevention, NC Department of Juvenile Justice, National SAVE, and Sandy Hook Promise Foundation.  She has worked with SAVE Promise Clubs for over 30 years and served as the Director since 2001.

Fourth Presenter's Institution

Sandy Hook Promise

Fourth Presenter’s Email Address

erika.latines@sandyhookpromise.org

Fourth Presenter's Brief Biography

SAVE Promise Club Manager, Erika Latines, Erika has been an activist and humanitarian throughout her career. Equity, education, and the prevention of youth violence drive her personal and professional goals. She has been working with Sandy Hook Promise since October 2017.

Location

Session Eight Breakouts

Strand #1

Heart: Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Heart: Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

Start With Hello builds and nurtures the protective factors related to the HEART strand that a connected community provides for youth. Like all of Sandy Hook Promise’s programming, Start With Hello’s lessons, resources and support are available at no cost to schools and in various formats and languages.

Brief Program Description

Sandy Hook Promise’s Start With Hello program teaches youth how to be more inclusive and connected to one another. It empowers youth to build a culture of connectedness and community, minimizing social isolation, marginalization, rejection, and their impacts by following three simple steps 1: See someone alone. 2: Reach out and help, and 3: Start With Hello.

Summary

Social isolation is a very real epidemic. It can cause kids to pull away, and, in serious situations, even hurt themselves or others. Start With Hello is one of Sandy Hook Promise’s no-cost Know the Signs programs and it teaches students to be more socially inclusive and connected to each other. The Start With Hello program brings attention to the growing epidemic of loneliness and social isolation—which often leads to bullying, violence, and depression—and teaches young people how to create a culture of inclusion and connectedness, and why it’s so important that THEY be part of this cultural shift. With activities and curricula available for all ages, students are empowered to end social isolation in three simple steps: 1: See someone alone, 2: Reach out and help, and 3: Start With Hello.

The Sandy Hook Promise staff will give an overview of the Start With Hello presentation component of the program, and discuss best practices for its implementation. Educators will learn about Start With Hello’s many lesson formats, galvanizing events, and resource materials for sustainability. School and club summitted Start With Hello videos will be viewed so educators can see what Start With Hello “looks like” and how schools and clubs build energy around connectedness, looking out for one another, and inclusivity through easy collective actions, and sustain those messages via youth leadership. 

Evidence

Start With Hello was developed using extensive research in the field of inclusion, peer relationships, and social isolation, and in collaboration with experts in the field, educators, community leaders, parents and students. Social isolation and loneliness can have significant impact on a students’ mental and physical health, academic performance, and peer relationships (Beyond Differences, 2015; Cacioppo & Hawkley, 2009; CDC, 2015; O’Malley, & Amarillas, 2011).

The Start with Hello program was evaluated in a case-control test at Los Angeles Unified School District by the University of Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center. Program participants had significant improvement in perceptions of school safety. When compared to those that did not attend, Start With Hello participants demonstrated greater willingness and self-efficacy to report warning signs of mental distress and threats, and more positive relationships with trusted adults. Additionally, results showed directional improvements in attitudes towards school, peer connections and providing a sense of empowerment (Heinz, et al. 2018).

Learning Objective 1

Participants will be able to understand the potential tragic results of social isolation and the importance of a connected community as a protective factor

Learning Objective 2

Participants will be able to make an immediate impact at the individual and community level equipped with fresh activity ideas to break the ice, break down barriers and build connections

Learning Objective 3

Participants will be able to create and sustain an inclusive school culture, a community that looks out for one another, through youth leadership and simple, yet intentional, community-building actions (at no-cost).

Keyword Descriptors

Social Isolation, Anti-Bullying, Connectedness, Prevention, Inclusion, School Climate, Violence Prevention, Kindness, Community, Positivity

Presentation Year

2022

Start Date

3-9-2022 9:45 AM

End Date

3-9-2022 11:00 AM

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Mar 9th, 9:45 AM Mar 9th, 11:00 AM

Start With Hello: Teaching Empathy and Empowering Youth to End Social Isolation in Three Steps

Session Eight Breakouts

Sandy Hook Promise’s Start With Hello program teaches youth how to be more inclusive and connected to one another. It empowers youth to build a culture of connectedness and community, minimizing social isolation, marginalization, rejection, and their impacts by following three simple steps 1: See someone alone. 2: Reach out and help, and 3: Start With Hello.