Odessa school celebrates national “no one eats alone” day

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Eating lunch alone at school can affect student’s emotions and their grades. Bowie Middle School celebrated the holiday one day early since ECISD does not have school Friday. Schools in all 50 states help over one million students each year socialize and reduce social anxiety and social isolation. This is a tradition the school says they hope transcends just the holiday, and can spread to every day of the school year.

You can be sitting next to somebody and never talk to them. We want to change that and this is a great day to start that. We don’t want it be just tomorrow or today we want it to be year round… something to help establish that environment.

Sylvia Gonzalez, Campus Coordinator for Communities and Schools of the Permian Basin

Bowie specifically targeted its 6th grade class because most of the students are classmates for the first time. There are 26 total elementary schools in Ector County.

It’s a pretty tough transition and we want to create that awareness in kids where they are empathetic with what goes on with others and if they see that kid eating alone that they realize that there may be some things that kid is dealing with, and they just need someone to open up to and talk with

Brian Ellington, Principal of Bowie Middle School

Bowie hopes this initiative can help kids not only with mental wellbeing but also their academics. Studies show that many areas of students’ lives can be affected by social isolation.

The effects of social anxiety can lead to grades being low, depression, acting out in a negative way – so being disciplined with bad behavior.

Chelsea Pinkerton, Counselor at Bowie Middle School

Here is more information on “No One Eats Alone” day, which usually falls on February 14th.

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