Will-Moore kitchen ​​manager finds creative way to make kids smile while in lunch line

Published: Nov. 22, 2020 at 1:30 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - This school year has been unlike any other year. From masks, to hybrid schedules, social distancing and quarantine rules, it’s all been a little overwhelming and emotional for students and staff.

Even the way kids eat school lunch has changed.

So, one Bismarck Public Schools lunch lady found a way to make lunch the highlight of the day.

This menu board is a topic of conversation at Will-Moore elementary. Allison Grabow is the kitchen manager here. She started the board to give kids a heads up about what to expect in the lunch line.

“Everything is different this year,” Grabow explains. “I was trying to find a way to get them through the line as quickly as possible.”

The menu board quickly grew into something more.

“I found they weren’t really reading it, so I started adding pictures and jokes and then they looked at it. I still don’t know if they look at the vegetable part,” she says with a laugh.

The kids admit they don’t always remember the jokes.

“I usually forget them,” says fifth grader Arlene Cruz.

These kids definitely notice them.

“I know today there was one about unicorns and corndogs,” says fifth grader Kaitlynn Keifer.

“It’s kind of fun whenever I walk in and see the jokes,” adds her classmate, Olivia Burrer.

“There’s a joke and there’s what is second choice, and what is for dessert, and what’s the main dish,” explains Bella Key, a fifth grader.

Grabow changes the menu board and adds a new joke every day. She says it’s a small thing she can do to give the students here something to look forward to.

“It’s been such a tough year. Everywhere these kids turn something is being canceled or changed,” she says.

But with all the changes, this menu board has been a constant, and something to make these kids smile every day.

Grabow says her favorite part about the menu board is when kids tell her the joke of the day, as if she’s never heard it before.

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