On Thursday, September 22, 2016 schools across Waterloo Region will celebrate the 10th Annual Say Hi Day, an initiative championed by the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council in partnership with the Waterloo Region District School Board and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. Students from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 will take part in a variety of activities designed to promote inclusion, belonging, kindness, respect, as well as social connectedness and engagement, within schools. At the core of all the activities is the simple act of saying “Hi” to each other.
Why Say Hi?
The goal of Say Hi Day supports the character building and bullying prevention mandate of the school boards. Saying “Hi” is a great place for students to start to:
• Get to know each other
• Understand each other better
• Celebrate diversity
• Learn new ways to include others
• Make new friends
• Build a strong sense of community within their school
“We have witnessed the value of the Say Hi program and believe that our students benefit from it not only on the day of the event, but for their whole school experience.” ~ William G. Davis Public School
Top 10 School Wide Activities
• Wear black & yellow
• Create a banner of student handprints
• Students form ‘Hi’ for school photo
• Say Hi in different languages
• Learn to Say Hi in sign language
• Student or guest greeters at doors
• Host a school picnic, sit with someone new
• Pen pal exchange with another school
• Graph all the languages spoken at your school
• Do a school ‘wave’ or song with Hello in lyrics
• Downloads: word find, speech bubbles, matching game
For a complete list of activities, and to register your school, visit www.sayhi.ca
Becoming More Connected and Engaged
“The Say Hi program changed the attitude and connectedness of our students in a very positive way…a very effective and simple way to build community in a school.” ~ Elmira District Secondary School Saying “Hi” helps to create connections among students and build their social network at school. As students become more familiar with each other they are more likely to form a sense of trust and unity. Encouraging students to become active in reaching out to and welcoming others can be seen as a stepping stone towards them becoming more engaged citizens of the school and broader community.
Growing a Say Hi Generation
“Students, neighbours, people on the street, newcomers – everyone needs a friendly greeting, so just say HI! It starts with us, so we can be an even more friendly place. Ten years of “Say Hi” and the campaign carries on!” ~ Ken Seiling, Regional Chair Each year, Say Hi Day has the potential to reach over 100,000 students on their journey through primary and secondary education. Now in its tenth year, Say Hi Day has influenced a generation of students who have come to embody the principles and attitudes of inclusion and social engagement. Students who participated in Say Hi Day when the program launched in 2007 are now Say Hi ambassadors at secondary schools, colleges, universities, work places and neighbourhoods. Saying “Hi” to others is an easy first step towards a much bigger goal of growing a safe and healthy school community. Ultimately, a community where children and youth experience being and feeling safe translates into a community that is safe for everyone… and where every day is a say “Hi” kind of a day.