Starting at a new school can be difficult and many students have often felt isolated and alone.
Manzano Middle School and other schools in the Valley are stepping up and participating in the “No One Eats Alone” campaign. It’s a student-led initiative, where students pledge to help other people feel included in school.
Ava Davies and Mariah Alvarado are eighth-graders eager to help because they know that nervous feeling all too well.
“That feeling in our stomach, like ‘Oh my God, new school, new people, teachers, we’re moving classrooms. Just being scared they’re not going to make friends, that was my biggest worry,” said Alvarado.
They pair up with sixth-graders with eighth-graders to create a friendship to help ease new students’ minds, as well as prevent bullying. Last year, over 2,500 schools across the country pledged to make sure no one eats alone.
“I just feel like we’re a lot closer like bonding wise. They can come to talk to us about anything like questions, it feels more like a family,” said Davies and Alvarado.
Last Friday, students and staff kicked off to the new initiative by marking February 14 as National “No One Eats Alone” Day. The hallway inside the middle school is decorated with leaves with students’ names, symbolizing the growth of new friendships.
“Starts to build morale, starts to bring them out and talk to students they didn’t know before,” said Principal Marisol Trevino.
She adds it’s the peer support that can help new students thrive.
“If they don’t want to go to adults, they can see that the student that sat with them in the cafeteria in eighth grade, they can go up to them and start asking them questions,” said Trevino.
To learn more about “No One Eats Alone,” click here.