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Greetings Area Schools!

Did you know that studies show that when people feel loved and connected to others they have increased emotional and physical health? We are writing to share an opportunity to highlight that message in your school for students, families and staff alike!

In May of 2018 a passionate group of people came together to develop the Be The One campaign to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month. The goal of the campaign was to spread the belief that everyone needs a “safe, secure and nurturing relationship”. We are excited to share that this simple message took flight and in August we applied for and received a New York State Office of Mental Health grant to continue to move this initiative throughout our region.

The goal of this community building initiative is to inspire people to Be the One through a public awareness campaign that includes everything from written materials, silicone bracelets and T-shirts to events and gatherings that include music and the arts.

To that end, we are encouraging you and all of our area schools to imagine how you could bring this message to life. As inspiration, we are providing you this bag of materials that includes stickers, palm cards, bracelets and a one-page information sheet. Please share this message with in your school in whatever way works for you. Some ideas may include:

  • Hold a Be the One school meeting when everyone gets a bracelet and hears the Be the One message
  • Create a list of ways that students and staff can Be the One for each other
  • Create a Be the One Bulletin board where people post ways someone has been supportive
  • Encourage students and staff to tell stories about the people who have made a difference in their lives

You can find more ideas on our Facebook page at Be the One Tompkins or you contact one of the Be the One team members for more ideas about how to bring this message to your school.

Mary Hicks
Jaydn McCune


Here are some great ideas to bring BTO to life in your school!

  • Health Classes: A great place to have discussions with kids around Mental Health and to introduce the Be The One initiative
  • ELA: Students could share in writing who their “ONE” is or has been. Encourage them to post their stories in the Be the One story pool
  • Similar to the "Apple for The Teacher" award, create a "Be the One" award
  • Be the One bulletin boards that students help to create
  • Create a "Bucket List" for teachers of ideas for bringing Be the One to your school
  • Using local revolving signs to get the word out  "Be the One" call a # to get involved
  • Create a Be the One Service Project for the students and adults in your school. 
  • Match staff and students with a secret Be the One Buddy. Everyone is invited to offer appreciations and care to that person anonymously until the match is revealed at the end of the school year.
  • A poetry contest on the Be the One theme
  • Create a community art project that builds on the BTO theme
  • Invite your AV/Tech students to create a Be the One video montage with interviews/stories from people in your school community
  • Encourage your music department to have your school chorus sing the Be the One theme song in their spring concert (download the lyrics here)
  • Teach the Be the One song chorus to the students in your school (it’s catchy and easy to learn)