Start with Hello shouldn’t end today!

What this week meant to a student at MHS

Story by: Hannah Liddiard

Walking the halls at Madison this week has been a bit different. Students have become more aware of each other and the different parts of our community.

The Start with Hello proclamation was signed by all of our community leaders this week. It is the reasons behind the Hello week and all of the activities that went along with that. It showed how important it was for our city,  Madison county and our school district.


City, County and School district leaders watching the assembly where they made a pledge and signed the Start with Hello proclamation. Photo by:Ethan Meeker

This program was started by the national non profit organization Sandy Hook Promise. The tragedy happened on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and 6 faculty members were shot and killed.

The Sandy Hook Promise is… “I promise to do all I can to protect children from gun violence by encouraging and supporting solutions that create safer, healthier homes, schools and communities.”

Reading through their various mission statements, I began to realize the importance of their goal.

You never know what people go through day to day or  what they’re struggling with. We all hurt and we all have bad days. You just never know how much one smile from across the hallway will do for someone. It is so easy to get caught up in your own life. With school, family, and friends, it isn’t hard to get wrapped up in only your self.

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MHS students showing their respect  our nation’s flag as they listen to The Star Spangled Banner. They watched as the leaders of the community recognized the week as Start with Hello week. Photo Courtesy of: Nate Sunderland,

The assembly on Monday was really touching. I felt like the whole city of Rexburg was uniting and saying to the people who felt  unheard and alone that they were noticed, that they mattered, and they deserve everything the world can offer them.

After I had stumbled upon that realization, I starting noticing things I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. I started talking to new people, smiling at a stranger when I made eye contact in the hallway. They were tiny things, yet I felt happier. It made my day better, and maybe I even did the same for someone else’s.

The one thing that bothers me is why aren’t we doing this all the time? Why do we have to have a special week to be reminded to look out? To be nice?

It’s easy to just stay inside your little lunch group and never wander out. For me personally, I have never really looked out for someone who may be alone because I always assume everyone has someplace to go.

No one should feel invisible. Everyone should feel safe at school. Everyone should be treated with respect, no matter what you look like or what you believe in. That should happen all the time, not just this week.

Everyone’s beautiful. Everyone matters. It shouldn’t have to take a tragedy or a week at school to remind people of that.  Start with Hello should not just be this week. We shouldn’t take this oath and only think about it for five days.   

This message should always be in our minds. We should always walk a little slower, look up from our homework, phones, venture out of our lunch groups and notice how every one of us has something unique to offer the world. We’re all important and we all matter.

Be kind to one another and let’s keep Starting With Hello!

Whereas, social isolation is the overwhelming feeling of being left out, lonely, or treated like you are invisible, and

Whereas, social isolation is a growing epidemic in the United States and within our schools, and

Whereas, excessive feelings of isolation can be associated acting out, extreme and/or violent and behavior, and

Whereas, young people who are isolated can become victims of bullying, violence and/or depression and as a result, many further pull away from society, struggle with learning and social development, have suicidal thoughts and/or choose to hurt themselves or others , and

Whereas, Start with Hello teaches students, grades K-12, the skills they need to reach out to and include those who may be dealing with chronic social isolation and create a culture of inclusion and connectedness within their school or youth organization, and

Whereas, in addition to young people, Start With Hello will benefit educators, administrators, community based organization leaders and parents, and

Whereas, by building a culture of inclusion and connectedness, schools and communities can better support their young people and reduce their risk of bullying, violence and depression, and

Whereas, Sandy Hook Promise, a national, non-profit organization led by family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 supports sensible solutions that protect children by bringing individuals and communities together to look out for and care for one another; and

Whereas, Madison School District and the City of Rexburg have adopted and adapted this National prevention program, Start With Hello, and will be joining in celebrating, educating and bettering our schools and community during Start With Hello Week, February 8 – 12, 2016 at Madison Schools, Madison County and the City of Rexburg; and

Whereas, through Start With Hello, young people will build a more connected and inclusive classroom, school and community,

Therefore, I, _______________ of__________________, do recognize and commemorate the importance of this program and herby proclaim February 8th through the 12th

    Start With Hello Week





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