Sometimes, making a new friend is as simple as asking someone to sit with you at lunch.
At Pleasant Hill Academy, sixth-graders pledged to always look for ways to include their peers at the school’s third annual “No One Eats Alone” Day.
The program, led by community partner Buckeye Health Plan, is especially timely as the sixth-graders prepare to for seventh grade, often at schools much larger than what they are used to.
“We want our students to be prepared when they are in a much larger environment, such as high school,” said Principal Shauna McDowell. “We want them to know that they can build relationships with each other to help them reach their dreams, while pulling others along, too.”
No One Eats Alone is a nationwide initiative led by the organization Beyond Differences that promotes social acceptance and inclusion. The school assembly and lunch outreach program aims to prevent bullying, community violence, and poor health and academic performance that often stem from social isolation at school.
“When you’re socially isolated from others, that can affect you,” said Kelly Powell-Kamlager of Buckeye Health Plan. “It can affect the way you study, sleep and take care of yourself.”
At the event, the students could play board games and give each other notes that said, “You are Amazing!” as a reminder that everyone has unique qualities and shouldn’t be left out. They also signed a banner as a pledge to do everything they can to include their classmates.
Keep up with the great things happening at Pleasant Hill Academy at pleasanthill.cps-k12.org.