Busy summer at Herman L. Horn Elementary

Title I teachers at Herman L. Horn Elementary are handing out free books and cool treats at the school and in the community this summer. Shown in background, left to right: Sandy Hunt, Julie Huckaby, Dorr Booan, Emily Murray, and Ginny Barton.
The cafeteria floor dating back to 1961 is being replaced at HLH this summer.

Summer is not a time of rest at Herman L. Horn Elementary in Vinton. There are some renovations going on and the introduction of a new summer feeding program and an innovative Title I reading activity.

The cafeteria at Herman L. Horn Elementary School is being renovated. The original floor from 1961 has been removed with plans to install new flooring. Photographs of the process posted on Facebook brought reminiscences from past students and teachers and requests for a piece of the flooring for mementoes. One remarked, “That stage instilled a love of theater for me at a young age.” Kimberly Greenway Riley said, “Wonderful memories in that cafeteria from my childhood to my first teaching days.”

The school is one of two sites for the new “No Kid Hungry” program (the other is at Burlington Elementary), which began on June 12 and ends on July 13. Meals are being served at the school Mondays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. until noon.

Information from “No Kid Hungry” reads, “For many kids, summer vacation is a much- deserved reward for a year of hard work in the classroom. For some who rely on free and reduced-price school meals, however, the summer months can be difficult. When school is out, these kids no longer have access to school meals and their families’ budgets are often stretched to the breaking point. In fact, studies show that kids are at a higher risk for both obesity and hunger during the summer months.”

Meals are free to children and teens ages 18 and under. No application or proof of income is needed. The healthy meals are based on USDA nutrition guidelines. As of June 29, 1,000 meals had been served between both schools. Roanoke County Community Relations Specialist Chuck Lionberger said the meals are the same as are served throughout the school year, not just a snack.

“Our department felt there was a need in the area to make sure kids were not going hungry over the summer,” said Denise St. Jean, field manager for Nutrition Services in Roanoke County Schools.

Lionberger said the school system hopes to extend and expand the program next year.

The Title I staff at the school has also come up with a program involving “Free fooks for summer reading and a cool treat.” Students have been invited to stop by one of three locations (the Herman L. Horn Elementary School Bus Loop, Mansard Square Apartments, or Longwood Apartments) on three separate afternoons to choose three age-appropriate paperback books and a cool popsicle treat, courtesy of the Title I program.

Title I Parent Involvement Specialist at both HLH and Mount Pleasant Elementary Phyllis Satterfield works as a liaison between parents and staff at both schools to make sure families of Title I students are aware of the services of the Title I program. She said the free books/cool treat program was a “collective idea” among staff members and was publicized to families before school dismissed for the summer. Others involved include teachers Julie Huckaby, Emily Murray, Ginny Barton, Sandy Hunt, and Dorr Booan.

The first Title I giveaway of treats and books was held on June 29. The program is scheduled again for July 20 and August 9, at Herman L. Horn at 5:15 p.m., Mansard Square at 5:45, and Longwood Apartments at 6:15.

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