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The Power of a Dinner Table

By Megan Hoel Oct. 18, 2016

A New York Times Opinion column discusses the power of a family dinner table for some Washington, D.C. public school kids. Author David Brooks introduces us to a family, Kathy Fletcher, David Simpson and their son Santi, who invite local teenagers to dinner at their house every Thursday night. 

With each Thursday night comes 15 to 20 teenagers sitting around the kitchen table.

"The kids who show up at Kathy and David’s have endured the ordeals of modern poverty: homelessness, hunger, abuse, sexual assault. Almost all have seen death firsthand — to a sibling, friend or parent."

Each meal they demonstrate their commitment to care for one another, with one child saying it was the "warmest place I can ever imagine". 

In his OpED, Brooks offers insight from our own Bill Milliken on which programs turn around kid's lives. 

“I still haven’t seen one program change one kid’s life,” Milliken says. “What changes people is relationships. Somebody willing to walk through the shadow of the valley of adolescence with them.”

Read more here