Sussex Academy students joined thousands of schools and youth organizations across the U.S. the week of Sept. 23-27 participating in Start With Hello Week to help bring attention to the growing epidemic of social isolation and building empathy in the classroom.

Organized by guidance counselor, Kathy Roberts, Sussex Academy students participated in Say Hey Day, where all students wore name tags, introduced themselves to students they did not know and invited them to eat at their lunch tables; Gratitude Day, when students wrote thank-you notes to someone who positively impacted their lives; Positive Message Day, when students wrote positive messages and posted on the library windows; and Random Acts of Kindness Day.

Students created kindness signs and posters that were hung on the walls throughout the school and the week ended with a Green Out casual day complete with a photo booth.

“During the Start With Hello Week, I noticed students becoming more enthusiastic about being kind and inclusive,” said Roberts “I loved reading their positive messages, shout-outs and pledges to be kind. Teachers recognized hundreds of kind acts and students enjoyed celebrating the week on Friday by taking pictures with their friends at the Start With Hello photo booth."

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