Moriah College students get proactive to include everyone
Their simple mantra – say ‘Hi’ and help promote social inclusion
QUEENS PARK, 28 OCTOBER 2014 – It’s a simple one word greeting that we use every day, but its power can be profound in protecting against bullying and social isolation for those with a disability.
It is the word that will be on the lips of students at Moriah College this Thursday as they get the jump on 23 other high schools around NSW taking part in the second annual ‘Say Hi’ campaign.
The Year 9 leadership groups at Moriah College will set up a café and create a chat area at lunch. They will also hand out ‘Say Hi’ wristbands and give out drinks with positive messages attached; all to encourage social inclusion within the school environment.
‘Say Hi’ week (Nov 3-7) aims to remove the stigma and social disadvantage around disability in high schools through awareness, active social networks and engagement.
Natalie Bishop, who is coordinating the ‘Say Hi’ campaign as part of Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s Social Inc. program, says the simple yet effective idea came from the students themselves.
‘As part of creating this program, we asked more than 70 students with and without a disability what they could do each day to make their schools more inclusive’, Natalie said.
The responses were overwhelming, with the vast majority saying they could simply make an effort to say hi to someone they wouldn’t normally talk to. And so the ‘Say Hi’ campaign was born’, she said.
Students at Moriah College are getting behind the campaign, coming up with creative ways to ‘say hi’. They are also planning other fun activities designed to help students get-to-know their peers.
Moriah College teacher Chris White says this is the first year the school is running the ‘Say Hi’ campaign, but it is already bringing the school community together.
‘The Year 9 Tutor Group that has been working on introducing the Social Inc. program at Moriah this year are really excited about the campaign, as is the school as a whole. Everyone is coming up with creative ways that we can ‘say hi’ and spread the positive message the campaign promotes’ said Chris.
‘It’s a fun way of addressing a serious issue and we can’t wait to see our school become more proactive about social inclusion’.
For more information go to: http://www.socialinc.org.au.
Attention media: to organize photos of Moriah College’s ‘Say Hi’ café this Thursday, please contact teacher Chris White on 0406570805.
Media Contact: Jennifer Durante – Media Manager – (02) 9975 8758 / 0419 802 602
Released on 28 Oct 2014