Did you know that the Atlanta Classical cafeteria is staffed by parent volunteers each day? Working alongside Mrs. Ramirez, these hard-working volunteers serve the approximately 160 students who come through the lunch line each day – and that’s not even on pizza day!
Heading up Lunch Bunch this year are Atlanta Classical parents Wendy Herndon and Lindsey Burke, who keep things running smoothly while serving up a side of fun. We sat down with Wendy to hear more about her role with Lunch Bunch.
Tell us about your background and your journey coming to Atlanta Classical.
My middle son, Bryce, was accepted into ACA in the summer of 2017 as a first grader. We have three boys and this meant another year of three boys in three different schools but we decided it was worth it. Thankfully for the current school year all three boys are now at ACA. Bailey is in third grade with Mrs. Andrew, Bryce is in second grade with Ms. Ham, and Preston is in Kindergarten with Mrs. Dye.
How did you get started doing Lunch Bunch, and why did you initially sign up?
After Bryce was accepted, I started looking at the school’s volunteer opportunities. I have limited time since I have two part-time jobs and at that time had three kids in three schools, but I wanted not only to help out but also meet other parents, staff and teachers. I didn’t even know what Lunch Bunch was all about, but I signed up for a day the first week of school last year and loved meeting other parents plus seeing my middle child. I continued to sign up once or twice a month all school year.
What is your role now, and how has it evolved since last year?
I am now the Lunch Bunch co-chair with Lindsey Burke, which involves rallying and coordinating volunteers and still volunteering for shifts.
How are things going so far this year?
It’s been pretty good. We have had quite a few new faces signing up for shifts, but we still need a lot more. I realize it’s mid-day and it’s a two-hour commitment, which can be hard, but if each family signed up for two shifts per school year then every day would be covered!
What do you want parents to know about Lunch Bunch who haven’t signed up yet?
Don’t forget to wear a hat, or you’ll be wearing a not-so-fashionable hairnet! [Editor’s Note: This happened to me. My daughter was mortified.] It’s a great time to hug your kids, their friends, say hello to teachers, and get to know other parents. I would have never met some of the upper school parents if it was not for volunteering at Lunch Bunch. We have three volunteers Monday to Thursday and four on Fridays for pizza day, because it’s so crazy! One volunteer checks off the kids’ names on the list, one-two volunteers start the trays with the cold items, Mrs. Ramirez does the hot items and the last volunteer puts plasticware on the plates and distributes them to the kids.
How can parents sign up at this point in the year?
You can sign up HERE.
You mentioned it’s a two-hour requirement. I have a preschooler and I have to leave early to pick him up. Can I still help?
Definitely! The main time we need three people is from 10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m. When you sign up, put in the comments what time you will need to leave and try not to sign up on a day when someone else has already commented they will need to leave early. We do try to keep it to only one volunteer having to leave early so we still have coverage the last 45 minutes.
Did you know if you volunteer for Lunch Bunch three times, you receive a Fast Pass for carpool? Use your Fast Pass to skip the carpool line!
“I loved seeing my son and giving him a hug. I also loved seeing the different age groups of children, which made me excited to see Ryan to grow and develop at ACA. I was amazed at how organized and well mannered the children are. Most of all, my son was so happy to see me in an ACA hat!”
– Alison Roby, new kindergarten parent
“I love doing Lunch Bunch for a variety of reasons, but mainly it is a great opportunity to see my kids and see who they interact with – and how – at lunch. They’re talking, playing, having fun and it’s a good moment. I also like meeting the other parent volunteers. It’s a great way to meet and talk with some folks in detail that you may not get a chance to otherwise.”
– Max Ellerhorst, parent of 1st, 4th and 6th graders