The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA
Fay Magazine: Summer 2022

Family-Style Dining Returns to Fay

Daintry Duffy Zaterka '88
Family-style dining is one of Fay’s best-loved traditions, and our community celebrated its return this spring.
Family-style dining is one of Fay’s best-loved traditions, and our community celebrated its return this spring. Every day, students gather in one of our two dining rooms on campus for a seated family-style meal. Students are assigned to a different table every two weeks,
allowing them to connect and socialize with friends and offering the chance to expand their web of connection as they get to know students in different classes and grades. Meals are also a time for students to build relationships with various members of our faculty who are seated at each table.
Beginning in third grade, students take turns as waiters, helping set the table, serve, and clear the plates, and Upper Schoolers also help in the Primary School Dining Commons during lunch periods. Our Primary School students love this opportunity to get to know some of the “big kids” on campus!
Mealtimes reinforce the importance of respect, courtesy, and manners within our community. Students walk to lunch (no running!) and remain standing behind their chairs when they enter the Dining Room until the faculty member leading the meal rings the chimes and says grace. Students learn basic table manners such as placing their napkins in their laps, passing items around the table instead of across, and waiting until everyone is served before eating. The salad bar and hot bar offer additional options, and students enjoy “bar shopping” to round out their meals. The Dining Rooms are abuzz with chatter, laughter, and conversation. Students announce athletic games to applause in Upper and Lower School, and the Dining Room serenades students on their birthday. Primary Schoolers relish eliciting laughter on “Tell a Joke Tuesday” or impressing their peers with a fascinating piece of knowledge on “Fun Fact Friday.” While some rules and traditions accompany family-type dining, our students know that mealtimes are anything but stuffy!

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