EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Mountain View Elementary School won the third prize in the Sandy Hook Promise Start With Hello Week Awards.

Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a leading youth violence prevention organization that launched the awards in tandem with Start With Hello Week, a national call-to-action held back in September that reinforces the Start With Hello program, according to a news release sent to 22News from Mountain View School. The awards recognize creative ways schools and SAVE Promise Clubs celebrate belonging and social inclusion.

The video submitted can be watched on YouTube. A group of students also performed “Alone” by Maya Angelou!

Elaine Santaniello, the Principal of Mountain View Elementary School said, “I am so grateful for and proud of the awesome staff and students at Mountain View! Given that this year marks the ten-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy, this work is more important than ever! I’d especially like to shout out to the staff who volunteered to plan our activities – Ms. Campbell, Mrs. Pelzek, Mrs. Pioggia, Mrs. Lennon, Ms. Emet, Mrs. Shea, Ms. Mowry, Mrs. Creelman, and Mrs. DeSaulnier! At Mountain View, we’ve worked really hard to build a happy, supportive, safe environment for everyone and I think our winning video entry, created by Mrs. Pelzek shows that Mountain View is a great place to be.”

Winners were selected based on three factors. The first factor is the level of student leadership and involvement, the second is program sustainability, and the third is the breadth and depth of the activities that students submitted. The third-place winner will receive a $500 prize, an awards certificate, and recognition on Sandy Hook Promise’s website and their socials.

“Start with Hello Week focuses on empowering students to create a more connected school
community for everyone, an important component of violence prevention,” said Nicole Hockley,
co-founder, and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan who was killed back in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “If we take proactive steps, we can save countless lives.
School shootings are preventable when we teach our kids to look out for one another and take
action to help. These winning schools and SAVE Promise Clubs are led by inspiring student
Upstanders have found innovative ways to reinforce the importance of these critical aspects of
keeping schools safe. I’m grateful for their leadership.”

First place was awarded to Marshall Kendrick Middle School in Texas and second place was Waterville Primary School in Ohio.