Galion students "Start With Hello" to build connections

September 21, 2020

Social isolation is the overwhelming feeling of being left out, lonely, or treated like you are 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.

The Galion Primary and Intermediate Schools will participate in Start with Hello Week through September 25. 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.

“Each day has a different theme based around a ‘promise’ that students make,” School Social Worker Kirstie Naumoff said. “The culminating activity for the week is challenging students to say ‘Hello’ to 10 new people.” 

Start With Hello Week 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 lost in the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and 6 educators, and are focused on preventing violence BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing youth and adults on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals.

“I want to encourage our families and the Galion community to show our students that they are not alone,” Superintendent Jennifer Allerding said. “Sometimes it just takes a simple smile and “Hello” to brighten someone’s day.”

Additional details and information about Start With Hello Week and the Sandy Hook Promise are available at

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