At Dallas, Texas’ Ann Richards Middle School, seventh-grader Thomaz Vazquez told WFAA: "A whole crowd of girls and boys sat with this special needs student, and it made his day. He had a big smile on his face...it made my day seeing another kid happy."
No One Eats Alone is a project of Beyond Differences, a student-led organization dedicated to ending social isolation. The group says that social isolation is a precursor to bullying, violence and depression.
But instead of focusing on the problems, No One Eats Alone day is all about creating a space for positive — and proactive — solutions. At Fernando Rivera Middle School in Daly City, California, students were randomly assigned to tables and given activities to do:
"They are playing games on paper, they are playing actual board games and then we have the big group games, but everyone is engaged, everyone is doing something," event organizer Sue McMahon-Dyogi told ABC 7.
Roseway Heights middle school students in Portland, Ore. preparing for National No One Eats Alone Day tomorrow with an assembly!Posted by Beyond Differences on Thursday, February 11, 2016
At H.B. du Pont Middle School in Hockessin, Delaware, each eighth grader was given a small square of colored paper to indicate which table to sit at:
Riverview Elementary in Hamilton, Ohio shared photos from their event on Twitter with the hashtag #SandyHookPromise, a sober reminder of the necessity of social connection.
The goal of the event is to kickstart long-lasting relationships. Ferber Elementary School in Appleton, Wisconsin, sixth grade teacher Beth Mleziva told FOX 11, "I'm hoping it's a starting point. Our goal is to do it more than just once this year, even though this is the actual national day."
"Leave lunch with a new friend and continue the friendship through the rest of the year!"-Oscar pic.twitter.com/xf3vrbp6w2— Beyond Differences (@BeyondDiff) February 13, 2016