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Student-designed program brings children together at lunch

Posted at 1:34 AM, May 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-20 01:34:36-04

Huntington Township, PA (WPMT/CNN) - The idea of the "popular table" is out the window at a one school in Pennsylvania.

Two fourth-graders are now making sure that no one eats lunch alone.

When the lunch bell rings and it's time to flood the elementary school cafeteria, it's no secret that all kids want to sit at the crowded table.

Something as small as not having a place to eat lunch can be devastating to a 10-year old.

Marissa Jones is in fourth grade at Bermudian Springs Elementary School.

She witnessed a couple of kids being singled out, so she came up with an idea.

"A special table called 'We Dine Together' for kids who sit alone," Jones said.

Even if that meant she should could end up eating alone too.

"I felt that maybe they won't like it. Maybe now I'll get picked on," Jones said.

That fear didn't stop her. It encouraged her.

So, strength in numbers, she proposed the idea to her friend Audrey Kuntz.

"I thought it was a good idea because I wanted people to be happy where they sit and not like, be picked on and bullied," Kuntz said

The two friends took the proposal of an entire lunch table for anyone who needed a place to sit, to their counselor Tanya Gelb.

"This is amazing. I have never had anybody have such a concept of this at such a young level decide that they wanted to do this," Gelb said.

Their next task was to explain the concept to the entire fourth grade class during lunch.

Initially, the girls were worried what the class would think about the idea.

The nerves went out the window as the class applauded the proposal.

The table was up and running shortly after the concept of "We Dine Together" was presented in the cafeteria.

Little did they know, the two compassionate 10-year-olds were serving up a lunchtime lesson that would make an impact far beyond the lunch table.

"I'm pretty sure I saw one person got a new friend. I'm pretty sure she was starting to talk to people," Kuntz said.

Now the issue at fourth grade lunch isn't going to be people eating alone.

It's going to be expanding to make more room at the "We Dine Together" table.

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