Around the Table Family Dinner Project at Parkview Elementary School

Anne-WodetzkiParkview Elementary School is pleased to announce that this fall they will be partnering with EMPOWER Porter County to host a series of family dinners for Kindergarten and third grade families. Families are invited to join in an evening of food, fun and conversation about things that matter. The Parkview staff was intrigued with the research from Columbia University that linked family dinners to a healthier happier child. According to Anne Fishel PhD, “Dinner conversation is the richest, most powerful language experience of your child’s life. Just for starters, researchers have found that talking to children during dinner is even better than reading to them as a way to boost their vocabulary. Even more importantly, the stories told around the table may be the best way to build a sense of resilience and foster optimism in your children.”

The busy family life often makes it challenging for families to prioritize family dinners. Around the table dinner project is designed to bring families together under the guidance of trained facilitators, who will lead the dinner guests in activities such as making easy appetizers and desserts to contribute to the meal, as well as provide ideas and support for improving conversations around the table. All families in attendance will also have the opportunity to join The Family Dinner Project’s free program, “Four Weeks to Better Family Dinners,” which can be completed independently in their own homes and contains recipes, activities and expert guidance to help improve the quantity and quality of shared family meals.

The Family Dinner Project website notes that “Researchers have confirmed what parents have known for a long time: sharing a family meal is good for the spirit, the brain and the health of all family members.” Some of the benefits include higher grade point averages, improved body image and healthier eating habits among children who regularly eat dinner with their families. Parkview hopes to bring these benefits, and many others, to their families. For more information about the Around the Table Family Dinner Project, please contact Anne Wodetzki at: To learn more about the benefits of family dinners and to explore tips, resources and recipes for your own family, visit: or