2018-02-21 / Front Page

“No One Eats Alone” at JCMS


Students at six Georgia Middle Schools, including Jenkins County Middle School, participated in the No One Eats Alone initiative, sponsored by the Peach State Health Plan. 
(Photo contributed) Students at six Georgia Middle Schools, including Jenkins County Middle School, participated in the No One Eats Alone initiative, sponsored by the Peach State Health Plan. (Photo contributed) A positive prevention initiative designed to promote inclusion was celebrated across six Georgia middle schools on Feb. 9, with help from Peach State Health Plan. The schools included Albany Middle School, East Broad Street School, Jenkins County Middle School, Marietta Middle School, Summerville Middle School, and Wilkinson County Middle School. The six Georgia middle schools joined more than 2,000 schools across the country in celebrating No One Eats Alone Day, an initiative that reached more than 1 million students.

Peach State Health Plan hosted assemblies in honor of National No One Eats Alone Day, created by the non-profit Beyond Differences. Over 1,100 students participated in activities designed to teach about the negative impact of social isolation on students’ health and academic performance. Students put the lesson into action by sitting with other students at lunch who they don’t know, or who may feel left out. They were given ice breaker topics to discuss and highlight their commonalities.

Social isolation has been identified as a precursor to bullying, self harm, and community violence. Students have shown that given the right tools, they will stand up for others as empathetic and caring activists, not passive bystanders.

“At Peach State, we feel responsible for not only preserving children’s health and wellbeing, but also providing them with the resources to succeed in life,” said Patrick Healy, president and CEO, Peach State Health Plan. “Children have an incredible capacity for kindness, so we are proud to celebrate No One Eats Alone and help them become positive role models.”

“Social isolation is a preventable public health problem affecting millions of children every day who suffer in silence,” says 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.”

Last year, Peach State Health Plan hosted four assemblies celebrating No One Eats Alone Day, reaching more than 500 students across Georgia. No One Eats Alone is sponsored by the Centene Charitable Foundation.

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