Guidance Counselor Elisa Quinones and Social Worker Carmen Cabrera received awards recognizing their work to promote No One Eats Alone™ a national social inclusion initiative
[Newark, NJ – April 28, 2017] Newark Public Schools is pleased to announce that two educators from Oliver Street School were honored by Beyond Differences, a non-profit organization that empowers youth to end social isolation, at their annual gala in San Francisco this past week. Guidance Counselor Elisa Quinones and Social Worker Carmen Cabrera each received an award for their work on the No One Eats Alone™ national program, a lunchtime school event that seeks to reverse the trends of social isolation by asking students to engage in a simple act of kindness at lunch – making sure that no one is eating alone.
“We congratulate Ms. Quinones and Ms. Cabrera for their hard work and dedication to promote a safe and inclusive learning environment that makes all of our students feel supported,” said Superintendent Christopher D. Cerf of Newark Public Schools. “No One Eats Alone™ is an important initiative that is making real progress to create a positive culture in schools across the country where all kids feel included, valued and accepted by their peers.”
Ms. Quinones and Ms. Cabrera developed a No One Eats Alone™ Day program at Oliver Street School this past February for National No One Eats Alone Day™. Students participated in guided lessons on social isolation and were asked to describe what social isolation meant to them. There were a series of activities, prizes and icebreaker games to engage students in conversations and to help them build better relationships with their peers. A video featuring Oliver Street students was shown at the Beyond Differences gala.
No One Eats Alone™ is a national student-led lunchtime initiative that encourages students to build more inclusive environments at schools, particularly in middle schools where adolescents can be insensitive to students who are being excluded during lunchtime. Lunchtime is often times the longest or most difficult period of the day for young people who feel socially isolated. Created and organized by students, National No One Eats Alone Day™ takes place annually in the month of February.
For more information about No One Eats Alone visit: http://www.nooneeatsalone.org/.