SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Launched as an initiative by the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation to combat social isolation at school, the week-long slate of activities can go by one of a few names.
At Jonathan Dayton High School, it is known as "Say Hello Week," with yesterday marking the end of a full week of programming designed to foster inclusion among the student body.
The goal of all the activities put on by the group is to foster a grater sense of community. and make it less likely someone will try to lash out.
Two students from the peer leaders were setting up a table downstairs in the cafeteria when TAPinto arrived at Dayton; juniors David Ares and Brielle Raymundo. Ares explained some of the why the group does what they do.
"Say Hello Week was created by th e victims from the Sandy Hook school shooting," Ares said. "So they asked us if we wanted to run the program in our school and we thought it was a great idea because it's just something so simple. And that can really go a long way."
And for Raymundo, the key is to interact with students and help spread the message.
"Here at the table we have in the cafeteria, we've been giving out name tags to students, so they can wear them and if they see someone in the hall who they might not be familial with, they can say hello and maybe meet someone new," Raymundo said.
Junior Ciara Corbett had been designated as the student leader on the project. Corbett spoke with TAPinto and noted that this crew had been putting in work to make the event special.
"We mad sure to rreally publicize the whole week, by putting up a lot of posters around the school and setting upa table in the cafeteria...that [effort] could really show people in the hall who is choosing to get involved," Corbett said.