Burns Elementary School students and staff are responding to issues of local and national concerns about social isolation, in which young people feel left out and alone.
“For many years, I was a classroom teacher and day in and day out, I saw kiddos that were withdrawn,” said Kelli Fueger, BES guidance counselor. “I implemented strategies for my class, but now as a guidance counselor, I was able to reach the entire school. As a district, we are implementing a new way of approaching behavior, PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) where the focus is on teaching positive behavior.”
During the month of September, BES students have engaged in conversations about reducing social isolation and how they can work together to create a closer, more connected classroom, school and community.
“Start with Hello” is a proactive initiative developed as part of the Sandy Hook Promise organization.
“It is essential that children learn this life lesson and use these principles in and out of school,” Fueger said. “This prevention program teaches children how to be more socially inclusive and connected to one another through three simple steps: First, see someone alone. Next, reach out and help. Finally, start with, ‘Hello!’”
BES will host “Hats for Hey Day!” on Friday, Sept. 21. Students are invited to wear their favorite hats and will be given a tag on which to write their names. This will allow their fellow students to share heartfelt and personalized greetings as they nurture an atmosphere of connectedness.
“Start with a Hello and Hey Day are kicking off a year of building positive relationships,” Fueger said. “We are a family at Burns and want everyone to be involved and valued.”