A cafeteria worker shows off a typical meal at last year's Lunch and Learn at Lexington Park Elementary
Schools are out in St. Mary’s County and the teachers last day was Friday. St. Mary’s County School Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano, however, worries about “summer regression.”
Martirano told the school board last week, “When students leave for the summer there is that gap not only in learning but also with food.” School Board Member Mary Washington reminds her fellow board members repeatedly that for some students the only nutritious lunch they receive is in school.
Students in the system’s Title 1 schools receive a free breakfast and lunch in school. Last year the system initiated a summer Lunch and Learn Program at one school – Lexington Park Elementary. The pilot had a number of partners, including the Judy center and agencies such as the library, recreation and parks and the sheriff’s office.
This year that program has been extended also to George Washington Carver Elementary School. Beginning today (June 18) any youngster “from birth to age 18” who walks into one of the schools will receive a free lunch and a learning experience. Lexington Park’s hours are 11 a.m. to 12:30 and George Washington Carver’s from noon to 1:30 p.m. Adults bringing in the children will also receive a meal free or at a reduced cost.
Martirano also pointed out to the school board that at any given time there are from 150-200 homeless students in the system who are finding housing wherever they can. He pointed out the county’s overall high national ranking in wealth, “but you have to go a little deeper.” .
This summer for the first time a basket of necessities will be delivered to families in need. It includes books, hygiene [products, etc.