MMS lunch orders due September 19: A delicious tradition by students for students!

MMS Lunch Program One of Mountaineer Montessori School’s most delicious traditions continues this year with our special lunch service presented by students for students.

Through this program, upper elementary students survey and negotiate with area restaurants, caterers and other food vendors to offer a menu of options that students in first through sixth year may order for lunch. Our students are responsible for all aspects.

(Please see the wonderful feature article below for a complete description of the program.)

Orders and payments for the fall 2014 program are due Friday, September 19.

An order form can be found here: MMS Fall 2014 Lunch Order Form





Lunch lessons: Montessori students run own food program


The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV)

May 22, 2010 | Sara Busse

Don’t mess with the lunch staff at Mountaineer Montessori School.

The program is run, profitably, by the fifth- and sixth-grade students at the school.

One student met a habitually tardy delivery person at the front door of the Kanawha City school.

“She said, ‘This is not acceptable,'” teacher Darlene Spangler said, smiling. “They are serious about this. They fired the vendor because they got tired of calling to remind them.”

The food comes from area restaurants – chosen by the students with prices and contracts negotiated by the students as well.

“The fifth- and sixth-graders survey the other students to decide what types of food are wanted,” lead teacher Mary McKown said. “They listen to the comments, and they change the vendors or the choices from favorite vendors three times a year.”

Elena Pomponio, 11, and Lillian Maxwell, 11, described the offerings.

“Monday, we get Creperi Cafe. Tuesday, it’s Main Kwong. Wednesdays and Fridays are Husson’s Pizza, and on Thursdays we serve ‘Annie’s Homemade Mac and Cheese,'” Pomponio said.

“It’s made here at school by our teacher, Mary McKown,” Maxwell added.

Cheese pizza is the most popular, with 50 to 70 students ordering the item each Wednesday and Friday.

Sixth-graders Joe Anderson and Sam Jenkins help with the program.

“We deliver the food to the classrooms,” Anderson said. “It goes to the juniors and the primaries,” he said, describing the different age groups who eat the hot meals. Students who do not order from the lunch program pack lunches. There is no cafeteria – students eat in their classrooms or in an outdoor picnic area.

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.

Chip Ellis / Saturday Gazette-Mail photos Tuesdays are Main Kwong days at Montessori. Students (left to right) Joe Anderson, Sam Jenkins, Deema Kahwash, Elena Pomponio and others organize the lunches in the schools kitchen before delivering to different classrooms.

Jay Sheth balances fried rice with chicken as he delivers to his schoolmates at Mountaineer Montessori.

Lillian Maxwell dashes up the stairs to deliver the hot lunches to students on the second floor of Mountaineer Montessori School.

Students in the fifth and sixth level at Mountaineer Montessori organize the schools lunch program, with profits going to charity.

Reach Sara Busse at or 304-348-1249.

Sara Busse

Copyright The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV)