SCUSD schools rally for No One Eats Alone Day
Students at several SCUSD schools will participate in National No One Eats Alone Day on Friday, February 12. During the student-led lunchtime initiative, students sit with new friends and classmates to reinforce a message that all students are valued and accepted by their peers.
“No One Eats Alone Day fits in with SCUSD’s work to make our schools happy, safe and fun places for students to learn,” said Superintendent José L. Banda. “The overall goal is to break down barriers that prevent students from getting to know their peers.”
No One Eats Alone Day is a program of Beyond Differences, founded by the parents of Lili Smith who was born with a cranial facial syndrome and was socially isolated during her middle school years. After Lili died at the age of 15 due to medical complications from her syndrome, a group of teens from the local community banded together to bring positive changes to their local schools.
Beyond Differences is carrying a simple message to cities across the nation: A new day is dawning in which all kids feel included.
SCUSD Bullying Prevention Specialist Jessica Wharton calls No One Eats Alone Day an important awareness-building activity for students. “Although this is celebrated every February, the take away for every student and staff member is to pay attention to inclusive practices every day.”
Nine SCUSD schools will participate in No One Eats Alone Day. “We know that loneliness can be tremendous barrier to a child’s development – socially, emotionally, mentally and physically,” says Wharton. “Loneliness can not only be stressful, it can be harmful.”
Beyond Differences is hoping to inspire 1 million students nationally to participate in this annual event.