Editor’s note: Some observations from Joy Walczak, Kent ISD communications specialist, who helped Brett Atwood film a SNN video story Friday as the Kenowa Hills school bus delivered food to families:
They came on scooters, skateboards and bicycles, some pushing strollers or walking the family dog. All of them were greeted by the hand waving from the school bus window, the extended arm of Superintendent Gerald Hopkins making early morning rounds through back roads and cul de sacs instead of hallways and cafeterias.
Each day, school buses bring sustenance to students’ neighborhoods and apartment complexes, food for the fridge and care for the soul. “It’s so cool that they do this,” said a tween holding a toddler. “I know they don’t have to.” The little one smiled as a chocolate milk was pulled from the bag packed with a weekend full of meals.
“My kids can’t wait to see their school bus every morning. We all look forward to this little break and chance to get outside,” a grandma noted. She had a few preschoolers with her, all bounding up to the bus with their pent-up playground energy. Inside, workers who had carefully packed each sack hours ago reflected on the past five days of assembly line camaraderie and a new meaning for learning math.
Like their counterparts across the county, teachers, principals and support staff in Kenowa Hills Public Schools were called to solve a complicated equation — how to get meals to many families who usually count on schools to feed their students twice every weekday, without creating crowds that the COVID-19 virus seems to crave. A color-coded delivery system was quickly developed and the familiar yellow transport team was put into action.
Since schools were ordered closed across the state, thousands of sandwiches, cheese sticks, fruit snacks and juice boxes have been delivered so hunger would be one less concern for every child. And this is just week one. On Monday, small faces will once again stare out the window until their bus bends the corner to bring them far more than the food inside.