New program promotes conversation, works to build connections

Fairmont+students+eat+dinner+and+have+discussion+with+adults+from+their+community.+After+attending+one+Supper+Club+event%2C+many+students+request+to+attend+again.+

Fairmont students eat dinner and have discussion with adults from their community. After attending one Supper Club event, many students request to attend again.

By Flyer Staff

West Unit Principal Jenny Britton has done her research and found that the more adults students can positively interact with greatly benefits their self-esteem, confidence and ability to achieve.

Britton started a new program this year to support the studies she was reading. Supper Club is a once a month opportunity for students to make connections with adults in the community. 

“I think building relationships and creating a sense of community is the most important thing a school can do,” Britton said. 

Each month different students attend as well as different adults from the community.

“Students can be invited by counselors, principals, teachers, coaches … sometimes students approach me and ask to be invited,” Britton said. 

Britton has also used Supper Club as a positive alternative to other disciplinary measures that a student may be facing.

“A small percentage of students (5-10 out of 40) are there instead of Saturday school.  I’d rather students go through this positive social experience than sit in Saturday school.”

Adults from all careers and professions and of all ages and backgrounds have been invited to speak with kids at Supper Club. Local restaurants and eateries have also donated meals such as Skyline, Archers, Christophers, Milanos, Claybourne Grille and Submarine House.

“We survey students at the end of every meal (anonymously) and the response is always overwhelmingly positive,” Britton said.  

Some areas that Supper Club set out to address were students expressing a desire to eat as a family, as well as students lacking experience in social/networking situations. 

The Dorwood Optimists supplied some funding as well and a $1,000 donation from Good Sherperd Lutheran Church helped get Britton’s idea off of the ground.

“I am thankful that giving out invitations and seeing students in a non-academic setting has helped me make new connections too.”