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Hanahan Elementary School's Lunch Buddies Program is a community commitment

Published Friday, March 22, 2019

Student smiling during the Lunch Buddy event

There’s no shortage of smiles on Lunch Buddy Day at Hanahan Elementary as city employees walk the halls of the school, eat lunch with students and play games. This photo was taken during the Lunch Buddy Day on Thursday, March 21, 2019. (BCSD photo)

Thursday at Hanahan Elementary this week was not your typical day before Friday. On the brief walk from the parking lot to the main office, there were several hints of the day’s significance to many students on the campus.

It was Lunch Buddy Day, and while schools all over the country may have similar programs, the one at Hanahan Elementary has been much larger than a special day once each month at the school.

The Lunch Buddies Program began as a community engagement partnership between the school and the City of Hanahan about a decade ago. It’s now grown into a monthly community event with city employees from every office, even their spouses, bringing lunch to the school, eating with a child and playing games.

There’s no shortage of smiles and hugs on Lunch Buddy Day as police officers, firefighters, city council members and even the mayor walk the halls of the school and get first-hand looks at what is happening in the lives of the community’s children.

While serving as mentors, city servants in some cases have built lasting connections with young community members that teachers and school administrators say have continued to benefit the City of Hanahan and the surrounding area.

The schools in Hanahan are known for deep-rooted traditions and community support. Mr. Sparkman said the Lunch Buddy Program is testament to the strength of that support. He and other administrators at the school confidently say their school is strong because of the strong community.

“The city made a commitment to our kids,” Mr. Sparkman said. “…We are very fortunate to be in Hanahan.”

Brian Troutman