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August 10, 2016
That lady who held the door open when your hands were full. The neighbor who mowed your lawn when he finished his own. The kids who raise money for charity with their lemonade stand.
And school cafeteria staff. Or school nutrition specialists. Or lunch ladies.
Whatever you call them, these women and men play an important part in the lives of students of all ages. They see children every day, provide meals and snacks that give students the energy they need to focus, and work hand in hand with other members of the school staff to educate children on the importance of nutrition and exercise.
When Jarrett J. Krosoczka was visiting his childhood elementary school on a book tour several years ago, he was reintroduced to Jean Cariglia, who was still working in the school’s cafeteria. Chatting with her as an adult, he realized he’d never thought about her life outside of school. What did she do after the lunch rush was through? Where did she go when the school year was over? What was the secret life of cafeteria workers? He was just the man to expose their heroic deeds!
The Lunch Lady series inspired by that encounter has struck a chord with young readers—and has changed how they interact with the cafeteria workers in their lives. After hearing accounts from schools across the country, Jarrett, Random House Children’s Books, and the School Nutrition Association have banded together to start School Lunch Superhero Day. More than just another day in small type on our calendars, it’s a day to acknowledge the work of this branch of the school staff and thank them for what they do.
So be sure to thank your cafeteria workers. You never know, they might not just be preparing your lunch, they might be preparing to save the world!
You can find ways to celebrate, thank-you cards to download, and a place to share your own stories of school lunch superheroes at the official School Lunch Superhero Day website.
Look for inspiration at the School Lunch Superhero Day Pinterest board.
May 3, 2013