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Jarrett J. Krosoczka, School Nutrition Association and Random House Children’s Books Announce School Lunch Superhero Day!

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
301-686-3124 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

Jarrett J. Krosoczka, School Nutrition Association and Random House Children’s Books Announce School Lunch Superhero Day!

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD (April 24, 2013) – On Friday, May 3rd, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author and illustrator of the popular LUNCH LADY graphic novel series, is teaming up with the School Nutrition Association and Random House Children’s Books to launch School Lunch Superhero Day, a celebration that offers students nationwide an opportunity to give thanks to the school nutrition professionals who feed 31 million students every day. 

Inspired by his own childhood School Lunch Superhero, Jean J. Cariglia, Jarrett J. Krosoczka created the popular LUNCH LADY series of graphic novels for kids, starring a crime-fighting school nutrition professional and her faithful sidekick, Betty. “Over the years since the Lunch Lady books made their debut, I’ve seen so many wonderful acts of kindness brought on by kids for their school lunch staff,” says Krosoczka. “I’m thrilled to establish an annual holiday when kids across the country can let their school lunch staff know how much they appreciate what’s being done for them on a daily basis.” 

School Lunch Superhero Day encourages schools to honor the men and women working in their cafeterias and show their appreciation with cards, bouquets and special recognition for their kind service.  Creative ideas, downloads and details are available at www.SchoolLunchSuperheroDay.com.  

“Too often, school nutrition professionals, their hard work and dedication to the children they serve go unrecognized,” said School Nutrition Association President Sandra Ford, SNS.  “School Lunch Superhero Day gives students and schools an opportunity to spotlight their school nutrition staff and thank them for the healthy meals they serve and for making the cafeteria a fun and welcoming place for students.”

Last fall, School Lunch Superheroes took on a new challenge.  New federal nutrition standards for school meals require cafeterias to offer larger servings and a wider variety of fruits and vegetables, switch to whole grains and limit the sodium, calories and saturated fat in each meal.  School nutrition professionals have been mixing up the menu and getting students excited about trying the new, healthier choices in school lunch, all while navigating students’ special dietary needs.

The School Nutrition Association reports countless ways in which School Lunch Superheroes show their strengths:

  • At Coulter Grove Intermediate School in Tennessee, Patty Morris is beloved by all her students.  Her cafeteria manager reports “Patty greets everyone with warmth and enthusiasm.  She knows her students so well that she can tell what fruits and vegetables they enjoy and they trust her when she encourages them to try something new.  Our students love her.  When she worked at the high school she was often given honors from the student body and individual students.  Many have come back years later to visit our school and seek out Patty.”
  • Rhonda Caron, at Cooperative Middle School in New Hampshire is known for her efforts to make healthy choices appealing for students.  Her manager says, “Rhonda shows her creative side by preparing and showcasing our beautiful vegetable and fruit bars, arranging side salads and deli sandwiches in a way that is not only visually appealing, but super colorful and eye popping!”
  • In Missouri, Dawn Lehmann of Seckman Middle School and Loretta Beck of Simpson Elementary, realized that many students and families in their community don’t know the fundamentals of cooking.  They worked together to develop a class designed to teach the art and love of cooking and promote a healthier way of eating.  On Thursdays after wrapping up their work in their school cafeterias, the two team up to teach the two hour class for 4th-6th graders.  
  • As part of SNA’s recent National School Breakfast Week student writing contest, one fifth grader from Dublin Consolidated School in New Hampshire honored his school cafeteria manager.  “If I could enjoy school breakfast [with anyone] in the world, it would be our school lunch lady, Miss Lorie.  I would pick her because she does so many good things for the students of DCS.  Like gives us homemade Christmas ordements [sic], and makes out of this world muffins!  And I would just like to thank her for all she does.”


The latest title in the LUNCH LADY series, LUNCH LADY AND THE VIDEO GAME VILLAIN (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers / On sale April 23, 2013), is available now, with the tenth and final LUNCH LADY AND THE SCHOOLWIDE SCUFFLE (On sale December 24, 2013) to follow.

About Jarrett J. Krosoczka:  Jarrett J. Krosoczka is a two-time winner of the Children’s Choice Book Award for the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year, and is author and illustrator of twenty books including the Lunch Lady graphic novel series and the just released Platypus Police Squad middle-grade series. Jarrett’s TED Talk on his journey from boy to artist can be viewed on the TED website. He is also the host of The Book Report with JJK on SiriusXM’s Kids’ Place Live, a twice-a-month segment celebrating authors, books and reading. His work has been recommended by national publications such as NPR, Newsweek, The New York Times and USA Today and his Punk Farm picture book and Lunch Lady series are in development to be feature films. Jarrett lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife, two daughters, and their dog, Ralph Macchio.

About School Nutrition Association:  School Nutrition Association is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 55,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students.  School Lunch Superhero Day will kick off SNA’s annual School Nutrition Employee Week (May 6-10, 2013), recognizing the many contributions of school nutrition professionals. To find out more about today’s school meals, visit www.TrayTalk.org.

Random House Children’s Books:  Random House Children’s Books is the world’s largest English-language children’s trade book publisher. Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books, novels, ebooks, and apps, the imprints of Random House Children’s Books bring together award-winning authors and illustrators, world-famous franchise characters, and multimillion-copy series. The company’s website, Kids @ Random (www.randomhousekids.com) offers an array of activities, games, and resources for children, teens, parents, and educators. Random House Children’s Books is a division of Random House, Inc., whose parent company is Bertelsmann, a leading international media company.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Diane Pratt-Heavner / media@schoolnutrition.org / 301-686-3124 / Director of Media Relations / School Nutrition Association

Dominique Cimina / dcimina@randomhouse.com / 212-782-9314 / Director of Publicity & Corporate Communications / Random House Children’s Books 

Mary Van Akin / mvanakin@randomhouse.com / 212-572-6014 / Associate Publicist / Random House Children’s Books 

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