Five letters make large impact
Posted on 09/23/2022
Start with Hello logo

Hello, hola, bonjou, xin chào — no matter how you say it, the simple act of saying “hello” to someone can make all the difference in their day. 

Start with Hello week is a nationwide movement dedicated to creating a sense of belonging by making and building social connections.

Throughout the district, schools celebrated the week with daily activities and spirit dress-up days. Gotha Middle School, well known for its strategic focus on inclusivity, started “Teach Kindness” lessons to foster empathy, build relationships, promote kindness and focus on personal growth. It was a fun-filled week full of positivity. 

Monday - Wear your favorite (band, food, video game, movie, etc.) shirt. This started laying the foundation for making connections with other students. Students played SWH BINGO and wore nametags to help build community. 

Tuesday - Wear green in support of Sandy Hook. Students learned the three steps to decrease social isolation, made kindness Post-it notes and participated in Finding Common Ground activity to see how they shared commonalities with their classmates.

Wednesday - Extreme Gotha spirit day - Show your Grizzly pride! Service Learning students signed a SWH banner to promote inclusivity and created chalk messages in the courtyard to promote kindness.

Thursday - Wear your favorite color day. Students signed pledges to: notice, reach out, recognize signs and tell an adult if someone is struggling.

Friday - Wear kindness shirts day. Students wrote candid, confidential compliments about their classmates. 

See their week in pictures 

Even though the primary focus of Start with Hello is to build safer and kinder schools, district leaders spread the message at the Ronald Blocker Educational Leadership Center. Tuesday morning they greeted employees with a “Hello,” donuts and coffee, as well as a photo station. The smiles were plentiful, as was the gratitude. 


Friendships start with hello and grow from there.