Along with over 2,000 schools across the country, Elwood Middle School
students celebrated No One Eats Alone Day on Feb. 9. During lunch
periods throughout the day, members of the National Junior Honor Society
and the Knights of Good brought awareness to social isolation.
“Let’s create a culture of belonging for everyone,” student volunteers
read aloud to their peers, “to not be the cool kids, but to be the kids
who include everyone…let’s be different Elwood, and end social isolation
Students encouraged their peers to take part in the day by making sure
no one was sitting alone, or by sitting with someone they’ve never sat
with before. There were activities available for students to connect
with new friends, including board games, a raffle, and opportunities to
affirm others that they’re not alone.
“This day is so important because no school is without isolated kids,”
said Dahlia, a sixth grader at EMS. “And just because you don’t see it
doesn’t mean it’s not there.”
This day was created by Beyond Differences—a non-profit organization
founded by the parents of Lili Smith, who was born with a cranial facial
syndrome and was socially isolated during her middle school years.
Their mission is to bring awareness to the harshness of social
isolation, and are determined to teach students to be inclusive.