“We want kids to feel included and we are trying to make them happy for the morning,” Indian Trail sixth-grader Sarah Merryman said.
The student ambassadors started the plan as part of the Sandy Hook Promise initiative “Start with Hello.” It’s been an encouraging week, Indian Trail Counselor Cindy Osborn said.
“We’ve noticed that day-by-day, they’re giving more high fives and kids are smiling more,” she said. “And what the student ambassadors are telling me is that they are noticing kids coming out of the cars with frowns on their face, but when they greet them, they see smiles.”
Osborn said the goal of the initiative is to have a week where you make an intentional effort to welcome all students, so they feel someone cares and notices them.
It’s taken the student body a little time to warm up to having students at every entrance to greet them, but Indian Trail Student Ambassador Huxley Stout said the hallways have been warmed with smiles the entire week.
“It’s more of a positive environment,” said Stout, a sixth-grader. “Kids are more friendly and they are more happy. I think that is a really good thing.”
But the students receiving the smiles and encouragement aren’t the only ones reaping the benefit. Merryman said that she has been boosted by the smiles she gives.
“Whenever you see that smile on their face, it sort of makes you feel good,” Merryman said through a growing smile. “Because you think ‘OK, maybe they were having a bad day, but they’re not anymore.’ ”
Osborn said that she and the administration have been impressed by the student-led initiative.
“It makes me feel good as a school counselor,” Osborn said. “Pushing those kids who want to be leaders, but also bringing up those kids who sort of need that encouragement. It’s a great start.”