• Hi, Neighbor!

    Hi Neighbor!

    Sometimes the best ideas arise when you least expect it. The Hi, Neighbor! project at Streams Elementary School was sparked by a book recommendation from a third grader. The project, which spreads kindness throughout the greater school community, launched in early March.

    A third grade Streams student brought his copy of "I am Mr. Rogers" by Brad Meltzer to share with Mrs. Leslie Smirniw, school counselor. He thought that Mr. Rogers’ messages of kindness, and validation that all feelings are important and okay, would be something that she would have a connection with and want to share with other students.

    “As I sat down to read the book, I quickly realized that while the book taught important ideas about kindness and feelings, it also addressed ideas of acceptance, open-mindedness, and taking action in your community,” Mrs. Smirniw said. “These themes are important components in the PYP IB curriculum, and our No Place for Hate guidelines.”

    Mrs. Smirniw reached out to the school’s International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program coordinator, Lauren Bogus. Together, they developed the "Hi, Neighbor!" project.

    The project began with Mrs. Smirniw sharing the “I am Mister Rogers” book with each Streams Elementary class during their guidance time. Students discussed the book’s themes of kindness, acceptance, open-mindedness, and the understanding that all feelings are okay.

    Next, students met with their “Buddy Classes,” which are a cross-grade level collaboration, and discussed two specific quotes from Mr. Rogers:

    • “Imagine what our neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person.”
    • "All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we're giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world. That's one of the things that connects us as neighbors—in our own way, each one of us is a giver and a receiver."

    Students then worked with classmates to create positive postcard images and messages to deliver to a neighbor. Each postcard features a QR code that connects to the Hi, Neighbor! webpage, where the recipient can learn about the project, share a photo and download a postcard to share with another neighbor to spread kindness even further.

    “We hope that students understand and see the importance of connecting with their neighbors. This can be the people in your neighborhood, the person sitting at a neighboring table in a restaurant, or your desk neighbor in your classroom,” Mrs. Smirniw said. “Mr. Rogers used his show to teach the message that ALL people have value, and ALL people are important. We want our students to see and interact with people the way Mr. Rogers saw and interacted with others.”

    The goal for the Hi, Neighbor! project is for students to see how a small action can make someone's day a little brighter.

    “While the act of delivering a postcard to a neighbor might seem small, kind words and thoughtful gestures can have a big impact,” Mrs. Smirniw said. “Oftentimes people think an action needs to be something big, or grand; but we want our students to see that taking action in small ways can make a difference too.”

  • Join our Hi, Neighbor! project...

    Show our Streams Elementary students how far kindness can travel. It's super easy - just follow these four steps:

    1. Download and print your Hi, Neighbor! postcard. (below)
    2. Write a message to your neighbor.
    3. Take a photo of you with your Hi, Neighbor! postcard.
    4. Share your photo with us! Hi, Neighbor! photos will be shared in our photo gallery and on the school district's Facebook and Instagram accounts. 

    SHARE your photo


    Hi, Neighbor! Postcard

    Download and print a postcard to share with your neighbor:

    Hi, Neighbor! postcard

    Each postcard and letter contains a QR code to reach this website to keep the kindness message going!


    Contact

    If you have any questions about the Hi, Neighbor! project, please reach out to the following faculty members:

    Leslie Smirniw, School Counselor
    lsmirniw@uscsd.k12.pa.us

    Lauren Bogus, Gr. 2 Teacher
    lbogus@uscsd.k12.pa.us