Remember how the best part of the school day was recess? After a long morning of math problems, spelling tests and history lessons, there was nothing better than getting out of the classroom and running around the playground. It activated the brain and body, and gave you the energy needed to power through the rest of the day.
Well, we miss it, too—especially since most of our days are spent sitting in front of the computer. Or in the car. Or in a meeting. Blah!
So you know what we’re going to do? We’re going to have recess. Starting at 11:15 a.m. Thursday at , we’re going to run around on the grass and get ourselves some fresh air and sunshine for 45 minutes.
As part of its companywide Give 5 initiative to volunteer in the communities we serve, Patch has teamed up with the Lemon Grove School District to offer a fun break in the day for the whole family with free games on the green tomorrow.
“It’s going to be the first time we offer field activities for children who participate in the summer meal program,” said Robin McNulty, the district’s director of nutrition services. “We’ll have three different sports going on with soccer games, a Wiffle ball competition and a kickball activity.”
Berry Street Park is one of five sites around the city where the school district offers its , which is open to everyone in the community. A nutritious sack lunch with a sandwich on whole-wheat bread, locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, animal crackers and milk will be provided free to all children up to age 18. Adults can purchase the meal for just $2.
“Bring some sunscreen and water, and have a good time,” McNulty said.
The park is the most popular site for the program this year, McNulty said, although participation is not what was expected. Tomorrow’s field day activities were organized as an effort to spread the word about the federally funded program and boost the participation rate.
So far this summer, the district is serving about 450 to 500 sack lunches Monday through Friday at five locations. McNulty said she expected they would be serving about 650 a day.
“We are trying to encourage more children to participate because we know we have the need in our town,” she said.
Another way she hopes to pique interest is by changing up the menu.
“Next week we’ll offer a pizza day,” she said. “We’re not sure which day it will be yet, but we’re going to shoot for Friday.”
If more people don’t take advantage of the program, it will have to be reduced, which means closing the less popular sites and sending home some of the 12 workers who are depending on these summer hours.
And that's bad news for Lemon Grove, McNulty said.
“It would be less work for our staff, less product we’re buying from local vendors, and the loss of federal dollars available for the community,” she said. “It’s about bringing in the federal dollars set aside for us.”