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MAELS, a NYC Outward Bound middle school on Staten Island, celebrated “No One Eats Alone” Day on Feb. 14, an initiative started by the nonprofit Beyond Differences. A student team handed out bags of candy to everyone at the school, helping to ensure that no one feels isolated or alone on Valentine’s Day. This served as the kick-off to a spring full of student-led programming meant to combat social isolation at MAELS.

Because MAELS is a NYC Outward Bound School, all students belong to a crew, a group of 10-12 peers that meet daily for the students’ entire middle school career. Crew is a large part of what sparked the idea that every day at MAELS should be No One Eats Alone Day, or, as teacher Marisa Galati calls it — No One is Alone. This spring’s programming will reinforce this idea of crew as community and drive home the idea that all students are valued and belong at MAELS.

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