NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Students at Nashua Elementary are focusing on kindness and inclusion all week long as part of the Sandy Hook Promise.
The nationwide campaign works to empower students and create a more inclusive school environment.
All week long, students are doing activities and lesson plans included in the Start With Hello program. It highlights social and emotional lessons for students and educates them about the effects of social isolation and loneliness.
The week’s activities include a PowerPoint presentation at the beginning of the week, icebreaker cards at meals, a "green out" day where students are encouraged to wear green to show support for the Sandy Hook community, a favorite shirt day and a random act of kindness day.
Fourth grade student Mia Taggart said she enjoys learning about what it means to be kind and inclusive.
"When you see someone alone you reach out, you help and you make them feel welcome," she said.
Taggart is one of many Nashua K-5 students taking part in the program this week.
Principal Heather Stukey said the school is using the week to kick off a new curriculum it will use next month called Second Step, which focuses on social and emotional awareness.
"Our kids go through lessons once a week, and it really breaks down problem solving, how do you self talk if you get stuck, if you have big emotions, how do you deal with that," she said.
Stukey said the lessons are important to incorporate into schools when kids are younger.
"If kids can feel included and be kind to each other at the elementary level, then that is a trait and a characteristic they will use their whole life," she said.
Nashua's Start With Hello program continues Thursday when students are encouraged to wear their favorite shirts. Friday is random act of kindness day.