‘Lunch Bunch’ lets in-person, distance learners eat together in Stanley

Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 7:16 PM CST
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STANLEY, N.D.- This year many students missed out on lunch time with their friends and classmates due to distance learning.

However, a creative school counselor at Stanley Elementary did not want students to miss out on that important social time and came up with a brilliant idea: Lunch Bunch.

Your News Leader traveled west to learn more about how lunch time is going virtual.

Lunch time is an important social activity for students of all ages.

With students out for distant learning, Stanley Elementary School created a program to connect students at lunchtime with their friends at home through the internet.

“We just wanted to give them an option to hang out with their in-school classmates just because to keep those friendships going and to help them feel included,” said Eden Cuypers, Stanley Elementary School Counselor and creator of Lunch Bunch.

It’s keeping classmates together, even when they’re physically apart.

“The online students they don’t really get to see their friends as much the people in school do, so they get extra time,” said Issak Longmuir, a second grader at Stanley Elementary.

Issak has been on both sides of the video chat, having to distance learn due to quarantining.

“I was in the classroom once because I was in quarantine and I was online,” said Issak.

Issak added that it was nice to see his friends.

Lunch Bunch helps create a sense of normal in a year that is far from average.

“It’s creating these ways to help them feel boosted up and create like you said that sense of normalcy to really just kind of benefit their year and really make it feel like any other year,” said Cuypers.

Letting kids be kids during lunch time.

The Lunch Bunch program is available for all elementary students during the week.

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