The We Dine Together club provides and encourages friendship and unity between students of all grade levels. Through the use of different methods to bring people together and put smiles on their faces at lunch time, the club proves itself an essential asset to the NC student body, making sure every student feels welcome and never alone.
After the tragic school shooting at Parkland High School, several of the school’s 9th graders were inspired to do their part for their own school community last school year, creating We Dine Together. Freshman counselor Michelle Perlin encouraged her students to create an NC chapter to the We Dine Together club, where students search for those who eat alone at lunch, and make sure that they are accompanied and heard.
“If I started at a new high school at the end of the year, the worst thing to think is ‘oh my god, what am I going to do for lunch? I don’t know anybody in this entire school.’ Sitting alone is uncomfortable, and some kids don’t even go in there because of it. Hopefully people will start talking about it; I think it’s something really nice to have at your school, where you don’t have to sit alone. There should always be somebody to sit with,” Ms. Perlin said.
In the main cafeteria, at least one We Dine Together member serves the club’s purpose every lunch, searching out those who sit alone. They plan to make these students feel welcome to NC through friendliness and inclusion. The club members either invite solo diners to sit at a group table, or place students who generally sit alone together. Students end up with plenty of new connections formed and find themselves happy to meet with their new friends at lunch everyday.
“I have gone into the main cafeteria, and I have seen students sitting alone that our club members have gone to give them company. There was a student who had just started school and she sat by herself. I went into her lunch and found one of the We Dine Together members, matched them up, and now they sit together everyday, it is pretty neat,” Ms. Perlin said.
We Dine Together club improves many students’ futures at NC, as several of them find themselves too shy to find company at lunch time, resulting in a lack of potentially meaningful and exciting friendships. Although eating alone remains a preference for some people, the club reaches out to those who feel that there lies no other choice than to eat alone.
“I would see students sit by themselves at lunch, and because we have such a big student body, I feel like every student could find something at school to be involved in and have someone to sit with at lunch. It’s a great way to help students come out of their shells without the pressure of being around a lot of people,” sophomore and We Dine Together club senator Macey Lawrence said.