McKinley Elementary School Students encouraged to Start with Hel - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

McKinley Elementary School Students encouraged to Start with Hello

POLAND, Ohio -

Social isolation is a growing problem in schools.  To address it, the Sandy Hook Promise has launched 'Start With Hello' Week.  At McKinley Elementary School in Poland, students are learning more about why kids may feel left out and ways they include those students.

"We are sitting with different people at lunch, not our usual group of people, so that we can just be friends with anyone and be able to talk to anyone and make anyone feel together," said student Adeline Schweers.

Start With Hello is a national initiative, which targets grades 2 through 12. McKinley Elementary School students created their own video to spread the message of inclusion.  Students at the school also shared what they've learned with students from other district through video chat.

"I'm trying to teach them how to recognize social isolation and teaching them to reach out and include others and make them feel connected so that we have a community in a school district full of connectedness and inclusion," said counselor Mary Jo Lukach with McKinley Elementary.

Counselor Wendy Butch says students, who feel included, may have a better chance of succeeding in school.

"It definitely has an impact.  When a kid comes to a school, maybe they don't have their needs met at home because of their situations at home or they come to school and they're not making those connections, they don't have that openness to learning like they should," said Butch.

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