Health Net hosted an assembly in honor of National No One Eats Alone Day, created by the non-profit Beyond Differences. More than 500 students participated in activities teaching them about social isolation and the negative impact it can have on students’ health and academic performance.
Hamilton Elementary School was one of more than 2,000 schools across the country that celebrated No One Eats Alone Day. The initiative reached more than 1 million students.
The nationwide initiative invests in today’s youth to positively impact current and future communities. This year, Pro Football Hall of Famer Anthony Muñoz and Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs joined as special guests and connected with students to discuss important topics such as bullying and self-esteem.
Students put the day’s lessons into action at lunchtime by sitting with fellow students who they didn’t know, or who may have felt left out. They were given ice breaker discussion topics to highlight their common interests and backgrounds.
According to Carol Kim, vice president of Community Investments & Public Affairs for Health Net, social isolation has been identified as a precursor to bullying, self harm and community violence. She said students have shown that, when they are given the appropriate tools, they will stand up for others as empathetic and caring activists, not passive bystanders.
“Social isolation is a preventable public health problem affecting millions of children every day who suffer in silence,” said Laura Talmus, co-founder and executive director of Beyond Differences. “We’ve learned through teachers and families that No One Eats Alone is a powerful step and positive initiative that can change the culture in schools to be a more welcoming place for all.”
Other Health Net-supported No One Eats Alone Day events were held at Sacramento’s H.W. Harkness Elementary School on February 8 and Isador Cohen Elementary School on February 9.
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