It’s the first Friday in May, which means it’s National School Lunch Hero Day!
School nutrition professionals play a vital role in your students’ well-being. They provide healthy meal choices to hundreds of students each school day. They have to be aware of food allergies, know children’s preferences, and serve it all up with a smile. Our school lunch heroes are definitely someone to celebrate.
As educators, this day is a chance to encourage creativity among your students, teach gratitude, and tie into curriculum areas from language arts to art, music, science, and mathematics. Here are just some ideas.
– Say thank you with a card: Unleash your students’ creativity with food-themed thank you cards. Make a pizza or a hamburger card. Then have students write personal notes of appreciation, thanking their lunch heroes for their dedication.
– Blast it with a banner: Make a class banner to display in the cafeteria. “Hands down, we’ve got the best lunch heroes” could feature handprints from your class. Or take it to the next level with a submarine sandwich banner. There’s no limit to your creativity!
– Voice it with a video: Create a video of your students sharing what they like most about lunch at school, and of course thanking their school lunch heroes for making it possible!
– Say it with a song: Have your class learn a song to sing to the lunch staff. Consider writing a parody from a song like “Still the One” or try this favorite nursery rhyme, “I’ve Got Something in My Lunch Box.”
– Plant it with a flower: Decorate empty milk cartons from lunch and plant flowers in them as special gifts for your school lunch heroes. You can even pair this with a science lesson on plants or growing food.
– Print out a certificate: Create a certificate of appreciation from your class and frame it. As a social studies project, you can even have them write a proclamation similar to what government officials provide.
– Write a poem: Unleash student creativity with an acrostic class poem about school lunch heroes. Use the words “School Lunch Heroes” or expand on them so that every student in your class can come up with a word. Consider displaying the poem on a poster for the cafeteria.
– Count it up: Give a math challenge to your students to calculate how many lunches are served in a week to how many students. Vary the challenge by grade level. Then have students make a graph to illustrate their calculations. Title the graph with a big thank you and “We count on you!” headline.
– Hold a book buffet: Invite your school lunch heroes to read a book in your classroom. They can share a favorite book of theirs or choose one in the class. Follow it with a class reception prepared by students (with the help of parents) so that you treat lunch heroes to a healthy snack.
– Share on social media: Include the hashtag #NationalSchoolLunchHeroDay and people will see it all over the world. You can also use that hashtag to search for ways that schools are celebrating.
National School Lunch Hero Day is a partnership with the School Nutrition Association and author Jarrett J. Krosoczka, who wrote the Lunch Lady book series. To learn more, and get downloadable materials and ideas for activities, visit http://www.schoollunchheroday.com/.
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