Cafeteria staff highlights student birthdays

Garland ISD cafeterias are transforming into celebration headquarters thanks to a new birthday-driven initiative. Student Nutrition Services launched monthly birthday celebrations at elementary schools this year, surprising students with sweet treats and fun.

“We are always looking for new and innovative ways to create a sense of excitement in the cafeteria,” said Assistant Director of Nutrition and Menu Operations Jennifer Craig. “We partnered with Kellogg’s for this promotion. This is a program Kellogg’s provides for school districts nationwide.”

Every elementary school received a birthday kit containing banners, aprons, visors, posters and other marketing tools in the fall. During designated one-day celebrations, posters display names of those turning one year older that month, cafeteria staff wears special attire, and all students are offered a whole-grain Rice Krispies Treat® at the lunch line checkout register.

“It feels special [to be recognized]. It is a nice thing for the school to do because everybody will be happy,” said Northlake Elementary School second-grader Toma Deshuan Holmes.

“I love this campaign. It is great,” added Northlake cafeteria manager Brandi Spurrier. “The kids are loving it, and it is a great way to get them to visit the lunch line and celebrate their birthday.”

With just two more birthday celebration days left in 2016-17, Craig hopes the program continues to generate positivity. 

“We want our students to feel appreciated and valued as our customers,” she explained. “We strive for school lunch to be a healthy and memorable experience. The birthday party provides an excellent opportunity for campuses to partner with the cafeteria in an effort to make this a special event for all.”