Students at a school in Florida have started a new club that aims to stop other school children from feeling friendless on their lunch breaks by making sure they don’t eat alone.
The We Dine Together club at the Boca Raton Community High School in Florida aims to help students who are sitting alone at lunch by having members of the club try to talk to them and get to know them.
Denis Estimon, who started the club, told CBS News that when he first arrived at school in the first grade after leaving Haiti, he felt isolated, which was especially difficult during his lunch break.
Now a senior, Denis has made numerous friends throughout his school years, but he wanted to make sure other students do not experience the same isolation he did.
“It’s not a good feeling, like you’re by yourself. And that’s something that I don’t want anybody to go through,” he said.
The club began in autumn last year and already has around 100 members. One student said he had quit the football team to be able to dedicate more time to the club: “I don’t mind not getting a football scholarship, this is what I really want to do,” co-founder Jean Max Maradieu told CBS News.
Usually children split into their own groups at lunch, but students who are new or who have transferred over from a different school won’t necessarily have groups to join, student Allison Sealy told Sun Sentinel.
The club meets every Tuesday and share a meal together, which is “always followed by a speech or a topic or a game that has to do with relationships or getting out of your comfort zone,” Denis told the newspaper.
“At the end of each meeting I tell them, ‘Look, you guys have to go out there and try to make relationships’. I myself, at lunch, every single day I walk around, I look for kids, I shake their hand,” he added.
Denis said that after he graduates he would like to launch a non-profit and hopes to take the idea to other schools.