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'No One Eats Alone' initiative encourages kids to be kind

Bullying is getting harder and harder to track at schools with the evolution of social media.

INDIANAPOLIS — Stout Field Elementary School has joined a national initiative to create a kinder environment for students.

"It's important to be kind to one another just because we don't know what other kids have going on, and it may make a difference," said Mrs. Hunt, a sixth grade teacher at the Wayne Township elementary school. 

She uses her classroom to teach students that the people who make history are often unique.

"People and their different ideas change the world," Mrs. Hunt said.

Hadassah Palacios, one of Mrs. Hunt's students, said she tries to always be kind, especially if she sees someone who's feeling left out.

"I walk up to them, make them feel like they're welcome and not alone," Palacios said.

But bullying is getting harder and harder to track with the evolution of social media.

"I usually block people that are being inappropriate or being mean," Palacios said.

"It's something that is really hard for us to monitor as teachers because we obviously do not friend our students," Mrs. Hunt said. "You know, we might be trolling the internet a little bit to find things, but it takes kiddos speaking up to their teachers to actually let us know that this is happening."

That's where initiatives like "No One Eats Alone" come in.

"It's all about combatting social isolation, about being inclusive, and really just making sure that no one ever feels lonely," said Elizabeth Sons, the Managed Health Services school-based service administrator.

So, talk to your kids, even if they're virtual learning, and ask them to reach out to someone who they think could use a friend because being a kinder person is a step in the right direction towards becoming the Best You. 

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