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Tampa grade-schoolers learn the art of warm greetings, proper handshakes

Teachers want more cordial social students
Posted at 8:57 AM, Sep 27, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. — Every morning Kyleen Carpenter greets the students walking through the doors at Tampa’s Mitchell Elementary.

She says “Good morning!”

And they say, well, not much.

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“We don’t get a lot of responses,” says the guidance counselor. “So our goal for the end of the year is to have almost every student respond with a smile, stop and pause, acknowledge us and say 'good morning' back.”

The national Start With Hello kindness campaign is being practiced at Mitchell Elementary this week.

But social and emotional learning is a year-round mission for Carpenter and the teachers at Mitchell.

So they’re teaching the basics of social etiquette and greetings.

At first, the kids were a little weirded out. But after practicing handshakes and eye contact and warm greetings, they started to like it.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to get to know everybody around you,” says Lincoln.

And when they went out to the playground to introduce themselves to kids they’d never met before, a crowded formed.

Everyone wanted to shake hands.