FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Students at Miami Middle School celebrated No One Eats Alone Day Thursday and learned an important lesson about bullying.
Managed Health Services brought in performers from Young Actors Theater and encouraged students to sit with someone new during lunch.
John Wolf, a sixth grader, said he sits alone most days, and hasn't been to his old table in a while.
"The last time I sat there they all laughed at me for something," he said.
But John stepped outside his comfort zone, and introduced himself to someone new Thursday.
He said getting bullied affects him, but he's staying positive, and hopes to meet some new friends.
"I do have a lot of cool things like robots. I have a robot like this big," he said.
Miracle Shurelds said she normally sits with her best friend, but lately she's tried to sit with people who sit alone.
"Yesterday someone was sitting alone. I went over to sit with him. He said he doesn't have a lot of friends or talk to people like that," she said.
Jo Nahod-Carlin with MHS said social isolation is a public health issue, and goes hand in hand with bullying.
"I think it's just a matter of starting a conversation with the kids. As the parent of a middle schooler, I understand how important it is to have somebody to sit with at lunch. That can be pretty impactful," Nahod-Carlin said.
The Young Actors Theater also talked to the kids about how bullying and sitting alone may be impacting their peers, and they even shared personal stories.
"It's exploding in our age group right now. There are so many kids who are dealing with bullying and it's really important to make sure they know there's hope," said Alethea Harnish, 18.
The No One Eats Alone Day initiative was expected to reach one million kids across the country by the end of the day Thursday.
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