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From the Desk of Reena Rabovsky, Elementary School Psychologist

  • Say Hello Week

    Monday, October 15-Friday, October 19, 2018
Reena Rabovsky, Elementary School Psycologist

Kindness is a hot topic in Science and Psychology today. Various studies have shown that being kind and compassionate has benefits for the recipient and giver alike! Hebrew Academy Elementary School has embarked on a Kindness Adventure for the 2018-2019 school year.

This past week, we participated in a nationwide program called “Start With Hello” Week. Our students learned three simple steps: 1) See Someone Alone 2) Reach Out and Help 3) Start With Hello. Each day included a fun and engaging activity to promote kindness and inclusion:

Monday:  "Say Hey" Day- each student was given a name tag with a goal of learning names of students that he/she did not know and to say "Hello" to at least 3 new people.

Tuesday: “Secret Kindness Agent Day” - select students acted as Secret Kindness Agents to spot students who are acted with kindness! Students were given a secret mission with special accessories (sunglasses and a special badge). Kindness Cards were distributed to students who were caught in an act of kindness.

Wednesday:  “Mix it Up at Lunch Day” - students sat at tables based on color instead of sitting with usual friends. Conversation prompts were provided on each table to encourage conversations with new friends.

Thursday- “Compliments Day” - Students and teachers filled out compliment cards that were placed on a kindness bulletin board.

Friday- An interclass kindness activity followed our Shabbat Assembly. Students decorated bracelets with themes of inclusivity. Older students helped younger students create and design posters related to theme of the week.

Kindness does not end with the school day! Here are some things that you can do at home to make “Start With Hello” part of your family culture.

  • Make an intentional effort to greet each other with hello and ask questions about each other’s day.

  • Practice active listening. During car rides or at dinner challenge each other to truly listen.

  • Model best practices for your child. Say hello to others on the street and make conversations at stores or restaurants.

  • Share your story. Tell your child a story about a time that you reached out to someone who was alone and in need. What happened? How did you feel afterwards?

  • Be there for your child. Talk about what your child can do if they ever feel lonely. Remind your child that you are always there for them if they need someone to talk to. Talk about good and bad kinds of being alone. When does being alone feel good?

Fostering inclusion and community is an important life skill and with guidance and encouragement, it is simple to do every day. There is no age limit for reaching out and helping others, so model these important skills for your children.  

Wishing you and your family a Shabbat Shalom,

Reena Rabovsky
Elementary School Psychologist


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