Three DSUSD Schools Win National Start with Hello Week Award

Lyndon B. Johnson Elementary School, Indio Middle School, and Shadow Hills High School, all located in Indio, are three of only eight schools across the country selected for the Sandy Hook Promise Start With Hello Week Awards.

Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), a leading youth violence prevention organization, launched the awards in tandem with the larger Start with Hello Week national campaign to recognize school efforts to prevent bullying and violence.

Principal Brad Fisher of LBJ Elementary stated, “It is an honor to be recognized for this award.  It is our “staffulty’s” belief that our students need to be safe, first and foremost, to learn and this starts with a simple Hello.  We do not want to see anyone left out or feeling lonely at any time.  Working with our students and community on doing their personal best and always being a friend is something we do daily.  As stated by student Aidan Dean, “If anybody gets down, raise them up by asking them to play with you.  Then get them to smile.”  This exemplifies what we want from all of our students and is exactly what we emphasized with Start with Hello Week.”

Principal Elizabeth Hartman shared, “Indio Middle is honored to receive this award from Sandy Hook Promise. Indio Middle strives to ensure that all students feel safe, connected and welcomed at our school. We are a family at IMS, a family that loves and shows kindness to all. We want our students to know that they are valued and important and that they always have someone on our campus that cares deeply for them. Thank you Sandy Hook Promise for acknowledging the hard work and dedication that our staff and students have put in to ensure that every day Starts with Hello!”

Principal Gabriel Fajardo of Shadow Hills High School noted, “I am so proud of not only our Renaissance students who led the week’s activities, but all of our students who take an active role in reaching out to others to make them feel connected and not alone.”

To qualify for the awards, each school and district must demonstrate active student leadership, creativity of expression in programmatic activities, broad community reach, and concrete plans and commitment to sustaining the Start with Hello program long-term. Each winner received an award plaque, cash prize, and free admission to the Annual SAVE Summit to share their stories and activities with SAVE Promise Club students from across the country.

“With so many students being isolated from their friends, classmates and teachers, helping them to feel more connected is more important than ever,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting. “It’s so inspiring to see the new and creative ways youth are helping create more inclusive environments where everyone is accepted, despite the pandemic challenges.”

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to end school shootings and create a culture change that prevents violence and other harmful acts that hurt children. Through its life-saving, evidence-informed Know the Signs prevention programs, SHP educates and empowers youth and adults to recognize, intervene, and get help for individuals who may be socially isolated and/or at risk of hurting themselves or others. SHP is a moderate, bipartisan organization that supports sensible policy solutions that address the human side of gun violence and make schools safer. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.

Image Sources

  • Palm Desert High School: DSUSD