With pride and luck, kids get a Mega Lunch

Beginning this fall, the staff at Oak Harbor Middle School has given their students a new reason to smile.

Students who go the extra mile in the classroom, receive that exceptional grade on a quiz, or help out in the lunchroom can receive Panther Pride cards which in turn can win them a chance at a decked out lunch.

“They’re showing in and out of class that they’re willing to work,” said Oak Harbor Middle School Assistant Principal Matt Cobb of the students’ extra efforts.

Those cards are then collected at the beginning of each lunch period and cardholders are given the privilege of heading to the front of the lunch line for that day. Other privileges and incentives are to be offered throughout the year.

Every final Friday of the month, that collection of cards turns into a big deal for 36 students. Twelve students from each grade are drawn per month to sit at the front table of the cafeteria for the “Way to Go Mega Lunch.” Organized by PTA moms Jeanette Peele and Wendy Murphy, food is donated from area businesses known for their kid friendly fare.

“It’s a win-win where we get to affirm the kids and get to recognize businesses in the community,” Cobb said. “It’s great the kids know the community is supporting them.”

Area businesses who donate for the lunches include Quiznos, Papa Johns, Taco Bell, Godfather’s Pizza, Taco Bell, McDonalds, and on a bi-monthly basis, Albertsons.

“The food is really good,” said one of last Friday’s winners, 7th-grader Jordan Carlson.

In between bites of Godfather’s pizza, Taco Bell soft tacos and Quiznos sandwiches the kids praised the project.

“It’s great because people who work hard should get something for working,” 7th-grader Tyler Jones said.

Jestoni Jimenez received his lucky Panther Pride Card for scoring 100 percent on a math test. And Carlson had to answer analogies to receive hers.

Whether the Panther Pride Cards were earned in the classroom or after cleaning tables in the cafeteria like Tyler Jones, it also takes a little luck to sit at the Way to Go Mega Lunch table.

“You have to earn your Panther Pride Card, but the rest is luck if you want to get drawn for it,” Megan Murphy said.

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