Students from across three school districts – Lubbock ISD, Frenship ISD and Lubbock Cooper ISD – all joined together Tuesday to launch a social media campaign which aims to increase student peer support.
The students will use social media and the hashtag “#GR806” to begin a thread of positive messages, memes and photos of students providing encouragement to their peers. The hashtag “#GR806” represents “The Great 806,” referring to the area code of the Lubbock region.
The students began meeting collectively more than a year ago in an effort to increase awareness of the need to provide more peer support beginning with their own high school communities. With suicide and family violence rates in Lubbock County exceeding the state average*, mounting pressure on students with high stakes testing and increasing economic pressure, the students began to examine ways to increase awareness of the need for students to support other students.
“The GR806 started as play on words – our area, the 806 area code, and how GREAT it is to be a young adult here in the 806,” said Alyssa Pizana, student at the Margaret Talkington School for Young Women Leaders. “However, sometimes we need to support each other — STUDENTS HELPING STUDENTS — and show each other there is a reason to keep living in the 806. Today, we’re putting down our school colors to raise each other up.”
The students are part of the Superintendent’s Advisory group in their respective school districts. All seven high school advisory groups – Coronado, Estacado, Frenship, Lubbock, Lubbock Cooper, Monterey and the Margaret Talkington School for Young Women Leaders – began meeting together as one last year.
While wristbands, t-shirts and Frisbees will be distributed on every high school campus to start the conversation, each high school will expand the campaign at their individual schools.
The students hope the initiative spreads to every school in the 806 area code.
“We started this idea, but the cool thing about social media is that it has no boundaries,” said Zach Stepp, student at Coronado High. “So we want to invite every high school student in the 806 area code to join us in this campaign. Brag on your friends using our hashtag and let’s start supporting each other in new ways.”
All of the students then shared their voice, “We are the *GR806! We Are Important!”
As part of the campaign, the students worked with LISD-TV to develop a public service announcement which will air locally. View the PSA below:
*Source: 2015 Community Status Report