DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – “No one eats alone!”
It was a chant echoing through the halls at The Potter’s House on Monday night.
Students in Dayton made the promise to help each other and their classmates feel more accepted at school.
“I try to help and ask them what’s wrong with them,” said Justin Baxter, a junior at Ponitz Career Technology Center. “I ask them how’s it going?”
Fourteen area schools were represented among the students.
Those are fourteen area schools were students vowed to carry a simple but powerful message.
“We know that the more and more kids feel isolated and pushed out or feel like they don’t belong, they become more at risk for hurting themselves or somebody else,” said Paula Fynboh, National Field Director for Sandy Hook Promise.
No One Eats Alone is an effort born out of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012. Twenty students and six adults were killed by a shooter who identified himself as being alone.
Since then, two groups, Sandy Hook Promise and Beyond Differences, are hoping every child can feel accepted.
“It can really start anywhere,” said Fynboh. “It can start by just extending a helping hand, saying hi, making sure nobody is sitting alone during lunch period, playing along at recess.”
It is a goal several students in Dayton are hoping to accomplish every day.
“I don’t want other kids to have to go through with their families or little siblings,” said Baxter. “I just try to help them as much as I can.”
National No One Eats Alone Day is set for Friday, February 13.
Area schools and organizations announcing their participation are Coy Middle School in Xenia, Creekview Elementary School in Middletown, Central Academy in Middletown, and Dayton youth group Young Life.