[The Celebrate Link-up is hosted by Ruth Ayres on her blog. Join in each Saturday with your own post about celebrations.]
Yesterday, schools across the country celebrated School Lunch Hero Day. The event was established in recent years by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author of the notable Lunch Lady graphic novel series. Inspired by his own relationships with lunchroom personnel, Krosoczka dreamed of a day when schools would pause to show gratitude and recognition for the individuals who serve breakfast and lunch to our students.
Scanning through tweets one day, I caught sight of a reminder that the holiday was fast approaching, and I knew it was worth bringing the information about School Lunch Hero Day with our PTA. We are incredibly lucky to have a PTA president who is an open person and a super go-getter. She took my page-long list of ideas to their meeting, and the small, but mighty group didn't hesitate to jump on board to make a special day happen.
Before students went on vacation two weeks ago, we introduced School Lunch Hero Day and launched a Graphic Novel Contest. Every student and family was provided with information about the day and a template for participating. Students could choose to complete the page started by Krosoczka or use the back side, which had a blank template for creating their own Lunch Lady episode.
Yesterday, students, staff, and (most importantly) the lunch ladies arrived to find Krosoczka's School Lunch Hero Day posters greeting them at the entrances. There were balloons expressing thanks waiting at the serving window, and the banner was hanging with a loud and clear sentiment. The PTA presented our ladies with School Lunch Hero t-shirts, and they modeled them for the students at all three lunches yesterday. During yesterday's lunch period, the PTA also showed videos from Krosoczka's YouTube playlist and projected some of the submitted graphic novel pages. The complete ten-book set of Lunch Lady graphic novels is also being donated to our school library in the ladies' honor.
When all three lunches were finished, the lunch ladies were treated to a special lunch that the teaching staff had pulled together with salad, rolls, homemade macaroni and cheese, and-of course-dessert.
To say the ladies were touched is an understatement.
The ladies' faces beamed as the students' roar of clapping and cheering filled the room. Often shy, reserved, and preferring to be behind the scenes, they came out of the kitchen more willingly with each lunch. I know the recognition and thanks they received was unexpected, and it gratifying to see the way it made them feel for our students and staff to say "you matter." School Lunch Hero Day prompted us with an opportunity to let our lunch ladies know they are noticed and important to our greater school community.
Everyone should get a "day." Everyone needs to know they matter.
Today I celebrate this:
- I celebrate a PTA of parents and staff who are open to hear suggestions and collaborate on ideas that contribute to a better school experience
- I celebrate the unassuming support staff in our school communities who don't always get the recognition and thanks they deserve
- I celebrate the small, but important things we can do to let others know that they matter.