Free Lunch Should Come With Change
by Anthony Stasi
Mar 19, 2014 | 13937 views | 0 0 comments | 893 893 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The conversation over school lunches and public schools should be an opportunity for new ideas. Advocates for free lunch for all children make a strong argument that when students are hungry, they cannot concentrate.

Realists, however, are right to point out that a lot of food gets wasted as children have such varied eating habits. In dealing with a select group, perhaps older students (junior high and high school ages), it might be worthwhile to re-examine the lunch room as we know it.

Most of us have been to seminars and meetings at work where the company brings lunch in. You’ve worked through lunch, and those giant round trays of mini sandwiches and wraps are such a fixture in corporate America. Would a “work through lunch” idea work as a pilot plan for a limited number of students?

I’ve taught classes that were so early in the morning it was dark when I left my house, and students would bring in breakfast. Students can eat and discuss certain subject matter.

They do so in cafeterias. Maybe herding kids into an echoing cafeteria with drab tile walls is something we can change, if only on a limited basis. It would be a way to get more teaching time combined with lunch.

A pilot program might have ten or fifteen students having lunch, conference room-style, while briefly going over a recent subject – discussion only. This is how adults eat lunch, and ultimately that is what our students will encounter in the business world.

It could also dissuade some of the other traditional problems that occur during lunch periods, such as bullying, fighting, and cutting school.

The point is that while advocates argue back and forth over how much food kids need, it would also pay to take another look at how they eat lunch. Those mass produced hot meals being cooked on a grand scale in schools is significant of the drabness that goes with a long school day.

Getting students’ minds back on track after lunch or gym class is not easy. Working through lunch might keep them on track.

It may seem like a crazy idea to take lunch out of the lunch room, but in troubled schools why not change up the routine? The more school resembles the universe that students will eventually enter, the better off they will be.

If conservatives in Washington are squeamish about signing off on more money for lunch, show them a plan that comes with the added money.

Mets Have a Good Problem

Both New York baseball teams have an abundance of minor league catching, which means it is time for the Mets and Yankees to flex their front office intellect.

The Mets drafted Kevin Plawecki in the extended first round of the 2012 amateur draft. As the Mets have restructured, and traded for Travis d’Arnaud, they signaled that they now have a long-term plan.

Plawecki has been nothing short of a solid hitter at all minor league levels. The Mets can shop him around if they want to make a run at a playoff spot.

Not all catching prospects pan out, just ask the Yankees. They brought up Jesus Montero, who hit well until traded. Under the sunny skies of Seattle, Montero has not hit much (someone should have told Jay-Z).

Last season, the Yankees brought up Austin Romine and he was disappointing. The Yankees only need Romine to get good enough to be trade bait. Plawecki, however, is different. He is going to be an everyday catcher in the majors. The Mets need to trade him and fill a hole. Most likely, they have held onto him because d’Arnaud has hit a few speed bumps early on.

The Yankees still have a rich stable of catchers (J.R. Murphy, Gary Sanchez, and Peter O’Brien), but they are all battling to back up Brian McCann, the Yankees’ most sensible winter pick-up.

Until McCann’s arrival, Sanchez was the slated to be a future starter. Having seen Sanchez play in the minors, it may be wise to manage those expectations down some.

With the added one-game mini-playoff that baseball now uses, however, the Mets could make a deal and be close to a chance at the postseason. Remember that all teams are two or three injuries away from giving up ground.

If the Amazin’s stay healthy and the rest of the division does not, it is possible. A miracle journey like that would begin by making a deal, and that is what a front office has to do sometimes.

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