Sit With Us Student Program
School social work is a career path that encompasses many areas and allows social workers to implement a variety of services and interventions, and make various connections throughout the school building and beyond.
Our MSW school social work focus area students are doing great things and are exceeding expectations out in the field. Current student, Andrea DiPrima is completing her internship at Prospect High School. After just a few weeks at her field placement site, a student informed her that he had no one to sit with at lunch. Andrea got right to work that evening researching ways to help her student. She came across an article describing a brand new app called Sit With Us, which enables student lunch ambassadors to create topic-focused lunch events which anyone is welcome to join. This inspired her to implement the Sit With Us program at Prospect High School.
The program provides an opportunity for the student body to become more connected. Students who struggle to find peers to eat lunch with, or students who simply want to get to know more of their peers, can join a lunch hosted by lunch ambassadors. Sit With Us is making a positive difference in the lives of individual students, while also creating a more inclusive school culture. This program is not only benefiting those who are struggling to find peers to interact with, but is helping the Lunch Ambassadors to grow as leaders, as they continue learning how to initiate conversations with peers who are sitting alone, how to make their peers feel comfortable, and how to facilitate a discussion throughout an entire lunch period.
In just the first month of the program, 13 lunches were hosted and 18 students joined those lunches. Andrea stated, “It has been really special to see the relationships and connections form as a result of the lunches. One student began sitting with two lunch ambassadors in early November and those three students have had lunch together every day since.” Some students sit with the same ambassador(s) about twice a month and some students use Sit With Us lunches to work towards IEP goals related to social skills.
In October 2016, Sit With Us was recognized in the High School District 214 Student Services Board Report. After the success of Sit With Us in the first semester, Elk Grove High School reached out to learn about Andrea’s implementation process. They have now implemented the program as well.
Andrea’s goal is to integrate Sit With Us with the transfer student population. This will be her project for the remainder of this school year and into the beginning of next school year at Prospect High School as she starts her career as an “official” school social worker. Kuddos to Andrea DiPrima for thinking outside the box and for going above and beyond to help her students. This is what true school social work is all about!