The students who run the program send out a reminder to the parents to get the monthly order forms in on time.
"When we tell them we're not accepting any more, that's usually when all of them come in," student Cora Dunlap said. She said the experience has taught her the consequences to others when she's not on time.
Ask the students, "How many slices are in a pizza?" The entire class will answer, "Twelve!" They add 25 to 50 cents to each meal, making the program into a fundraiser.
The food business alone has garnered $1,700 this year, which will be donated to UNICEF's Haiti relief efforts. And, like everything else in this democratic classroom, the students researched charities and voted on their favorite.
They made a list, including Save the Children, Doctors without Borders, the Red Cross and more. Student Anne Frances Melton suggested UNICEF.
"We looked at what percentage of the money will go to Haiti and how much goes to management. One hundred percent of the money goes directly to Haiti," Deema Kahwash said. Another student pointed out that the school will donate a total of $5,500 to UNICEF this year, thanks to a walk-a-thon and "Houses for Haiti," decorative pins created by the students under the direction of art teacher Nancy Johnston.
When asked what UNICEF stood for, the students quickly answered "United Nation International Children's Emergency Fund." One student added, "That's an acronym!"
Robby Thaw added that they collect "Pennies for Peace," which is donated to charity as well. The students do other tasks at the school, in addition to managing the lunch program.
"We clean carpets and the floor, help with the younger kids, collect the 'Pennies for Peace,'" Thaw said.
In addition to the charitable giving to UNICEF, the students work once a month at Manna Meal and have done cleanup and restoration at Celebration Station playground on Charleston's East End.
Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.