NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- During "Start with Hello" week at Isaac E. Young Middle School, students joined in a host of activities designed to build new friendships, welcome new students and create a friendlier school atmosphere.
It really does all start with a friendly greeting. The first thing Monday morning, students arrived to schoolmates who are members of the Castle Ambassadors holding up signs that read "Good morning," "Stay positive," and "Have an awesome day!" to greet them.
The Castle Ambassadors also posted friendly notes on lockers.
"It's important because it helps people feel welcome to the school and feel involved," eighth-grader Destiny Holloway said of the activities.
The students had goals for each day. On Monday, they set out to say "hello" to five new people. On Tuesday, they handed out smiley-face stickers for "Make Someone Smile Day." Also, some students arrived to lockers randomly decorated with friendly handwritten notes. At the "Welcome to the Castle Student Social," students who joined IEYMS in the last two months were treated to a party. On Wednesday, students met the "Positivity Challenge," leaving uplifting messages on positivity walls.
Yesterday, teachers encouraged students to sit next to someone they hadn't sat near this year. Also, a presenter from the Sandy Hook Promise organization spoke with sixth-graders.
Finally, today, students are wearing green to show their school spirit. It is also, "No One Eats Alone Day," during which students pledge that they will make an effort to include others in lunchtime activities. Students in the cafeteria are meeting new people with friendly conversation starters and ice-breaking activities.
"The students embraced the week," said teacher Jennifer Vivolo-Carsen, the faculty advisor for the Castle Ambassadors. "They planned and took part in all of the activities. Each morning the Castle Ambassadors greeted students. They were joined by members of the French Club, National Junior Honor Society, the boys and girls basketball teams, the Castle Choir, and countless other students and staff members. The week truly highlighted the Isaac Young community."