The Valdosta Daily Times
Loud music, dancing and frozen treats sound more like a day on the beach than a day at school, but for the students at Pinevale Elementary School, that’s exactly what school was like on Friday.
Each year PES holds a “Beach Day” during their lunch period. During the “Beach Day” students enjoy frozen snacks in addition to their regular lunch, listen to upbeat music, dance in the walkway between the tables and some even win prizes.
“I just want to show the kids that eating can be fun. It’s about nutrition, but it’s also about having fun. It’s showing them that they can have a good time and eat at the same time,” said Johnnie Mae Woods, PES’s Certified School Nutrition Manager.
Woods has been holding “Beach Day” for more than 20 years. She began the program in 1992, and it has become a tradition.
“Students start asking me in August when we are going to be having Beach Day. The kids love it and the teachers love it too,” Woods explained.
With just over 400 students, Pinevale has a great opportunity to have special celebrations with all of their students being involved. Larger schools in the system struggle to have these theme days, though they still do, because of their size.
“Mrs. Johnnie is one of our most active cafeteria managers. She is such a giving person. This gives these kids a distraction from school work and a chance to enjoy their day,” said Pam Boyd, Director of School Nutrition for Valdosta City Schools.
Beach Day is just one of the many theme days held at Pinevale.
They also have events for Christmas, St. Patricks Day, and many other holidays.
Woods concluded saying, “Programs like this show the kids that they really can enjoy eating lunch.”