Austintown Intermediate School students Friday participated in No One Eats Alone Day to pay tribute to Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The program was started by Sandy Hook Promise in an effort to promote inclusion and prevent isolation in schools.
Sandy Hook Promise is a nonprofit organization founded and led by family members whose loved ones were killed Dec. 14, 2012, at the elementary school. Based in Newton, Conn., the organization focuses on honoring the victims of gun violence through programs and practices that encourage protecting children and preventing further tragedies - such as crime, suicide and accidental discharge.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse / Town Crier
ABOVE:?Austintown police officer Allen Phillips shares lunch time with AIS third-graders Jayden Berg and John Check during No One Eats Alone Day.
Sandy Hook Promise transformed the tragedy into a movement of parents, schools and community organizations that deliver gun violence prevention programs and promote the passage of state and national policy.
According to the effort, there are students all over the world that suffer from loneliness throughout the school day and it is often highlighted during lunch time or when friends gather. The organization said young people who are isolated often become the victims of bullying, violence or depression.
The program at AIS encouraged children to invite someone new, who may be feeling left out, to sit with them at lunch time, and they were surprised by some special guests that stopped by to join the students at lunch.
Though No One Eats Alone Day is officially over, Sandy Hook Promise said people can still take steps to combat social isolation in schools and communities.