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Friday, February 14, 2020 National No One Eats Alone Day
An Initiative of Beyond Differences Sponsored by Centene Charitable Foundation

Welcome to National No One Eats Alone Day!

Dear Friends,

We are excited to share with you No One Eats Alone™, our second of three Positive Prevention Initiatives that wrap around the school year. National No One Eats Alone Day is our most popular national program! It is a student-led lunchtime event in 2019 that was celebrated in over 2,500 schools across the United States.

Beyond Differences is carrying a simple message to cities across this nation: We believe that a new day is dawning. A new day in which all kids feel included, valued and accepted by their peers. At Beyond Differences we are dedicated to helping teens and schools make social inclusion the new reality.

Watch Inside California Education: No One Eats Alone Day

Beyond Differences was founded by the parents of Lili Rachel Smith who was born with a cranial facial syndrome and was socially isolated during her middle school years. Because of her facial differences and increasing lack of social skills needed to keep up with her peers, Lili was socially isolated during her middle school years. After Lili died unexpectedly at the age of 15 from medical complications, a few local teens came together determined to honor Lili’s life. They chose something never-before discussed: social isolation in middle school. They courageously and tenaciously stood up - one school and one opportunity at a time – and led assembly programs, shared personal stories, facilitated small group discussions, spoke at professional conferences and interviewed with the media.

That small group has now grown into dozens of teens in 4 communities including Marin County, Oakland, San Mateo, California and Portland, Oregon. These teens are bringing a new awareness to their schools and communities – often starting with National No One Eats Alone Day. These students are making inclusion the new cool in school!

There are two important things to know about having a No One Eats Alone Day at your school:

  • The students are in charge. We have found that when you empower teens to make these changes, they do so enthusiastically and, most importantly, the changes stick.

  • Make it local. Each school has its own traditions and its own charm. Let this show through.

We encourage you to launch No One Eats Alone in your school - and we'll help by providing lots of resources such as lesson plans, activities, and supplies for event day (including a community art installation, posters, balloons, stickers and more!) Just let us know you're interested by filling out this form and we'll be in touch right away. We also welcome your questions and feedback.

Thank you,
Beyond Differences Team

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