No One Eats Alone Building Community at Sleepy Hollow Middle School

Sun poured down on Doc Rasbeck Field as the entire Sleepy Hollow Middle School community gathered for No One Eats Alone Day.

The tradition allows students, faculty, staff and administrators to spend all the lunch periods outside with each other. On Sept. 20, smiles and laughter lit up the faces of children who played soccer, volleyball, tag, football, board games or just spent time reconnecting and making new friends. Siblings who normally don't see each other during the school day interacted with each other.

Sixth-grader Leon Delos Reyes and eighth-grader Tyler Valenti shared their impressions of the day.

This year SHMS added and environmental component to the day to encourage sustainability. Participants brought reusable water bottles and utilized the Sleepy Hollow Athletics Department's hydration station when they needed a refill. The goal is to make the event 100% trash-free one day. At the end of the day eighth-graders volunteered to clean-up the field as a community service project.

The day also provided students with the opportunity to disconnect and enjoy the outdoors and conversation. No cell phones were allowed on the field. When asked to name his favorite aspect of No One Eats Alone Day, SHMS Principal Joshua Whitham said, “I wander from group to group and join in on card games, jump into a basketball or football game. I love listening to the giggling and laughter.”

The idea of building community seems to be working. Just ask eighth-graders Hannah Verbeke and Brianne Leak.

“I saw a boy kicking ice and I invited him to come to my blanket,” said sixth-grader Annabelle Hutson. “Later, l saw him happy with other boys.”

No One Eats Alone ...a day of fun and friendship where no one is left behind.

Edited by: Grace Noone