Beaty’s preview to ‘Make a Friend Day’
On Tuesday, people nationwide will be making new friends.
Make a Friend Day is celebrated every year on Feb. 11.
In observance of Make a Friend Day, officials at Beaty-Warren Middle School decided to shake things up at lunch on Friday.
Principal Shannon Yeager and Counselor Matt Menard decided to provide a good opportunity for students to sit with people they might not know so well.
Each student drew a state (including Puerto Rico and Washington D.C.) from a hat. Everyone who drew the same location sat at the same table section.
Some students were in groups with their buddies. Others were not.
“We’re trying to promote one-school, one-culture, to encourage kids to meet and talk to kids they normally wouldn’t,” Yeager said.
To help students get started, there was a “Meet a New Friend Day Conversation Starter” at each table.
Some of the suggested topics were: What do you want to be when you grow up? What is your favorite dessert/game/time of year/pizza topping/movie? What is your nickname?
Students were encouraged to participate and write things they learned on a slip of paper. As a reward for those who did so, they received a FIRE (Fierceness, Integrity, Responsibility, Excellence) ticket that can be exchanged for an item or activity.
Students who have a ticket may turn it in and participate during an activity coming up in a couple weeks. Those who don’t will remain in their regular class.
That’s pretty good motivation for some of the students.
Ryleigh Bowers plans to join that activity, even not knowing what it is, instead of staying in study hall.
During the exercise, Bowers learned about Jennifer Giger. “We both like horses,” Bowers said. They were acquaintances before. “Since I know more about Jennifer, we can do more things together.”
“It’s a good thing to do,” Giger said. “We should do it more often because we have a chance to talk to who we want to talk to.”
“I really want to talk to Ryleigh (during normal lunch periods) but I can’t,” she said. “We have assigned seats.”
Shortly after the beginning of the school year, students selected where and with whom they would sit for lunch. Assuming they did a good job of it, there’s not much room to complain.
But, if students want to spend time with other particular students or make some new friends who are in lunch at the same time, but aren’t at the same table, the situation is pretty well locked up.
Seth Brown, also at the Puerto Rico table with Giger and Bowers, talked with Sara Richard. “She likes pasta. Her favorite book is My Hero Academia.”
“It’s cool that we get to sit with other people,” Brown said.
Richard talked with Jacob Carroll. She learned his favorite subject is math and his favorite food is chicken (tenders) and fries, something of a Beaty lunch staple.
Carroll, in turn, spoke with Brown. “His favorite ice cream is the Tonight Dough.”
“It’s a good thing,” Carroll said of the event. “People should meet new people.”
The cafeteria may have been a little louder than usual, but it was worth it. “I think it’s fantastic,” Menard said. “Good student engagement.”
“The activity goes along with our school-wide positive behavior intervention program,” Yeager said. “We will probably do it again.”