The initiative paid off for two Anderson Elementary fourth-graders who circulated a petition for strawberry milk to return to the school.
Fourth-graders Esteban Perez and Bre Shoemaker started the petition for their peers to sign, and Principal Sarah Messley called Amanda Bruneau, assistant food service director for Opaa, the school district's food service company.
"I was like, 'That's awesome. I'm calling the milk guy,'" Bruneau said. "For any kid to get up enough courage to do a petition, we need to support that."
She explained Opaa used to receive shipments of strawberry milk but, with the trucking and food shortages, they could not get strawberry or vanilla milk for a time.
"Then things got better on Hiland's end and they were able to get some for us," she said.
On Sept. 29, Anderson elementary fourth-graders celebrated the return of strawberry milk. The milk truck arrived at the school, and the fourth-graders all came outside to have strawberry milk and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies provided by Opaa.
Perez said he started the petition because, "every time I got chocolate milk, I never drink it ... it was kind of getting old to me and I thought the school needed something else to drink, like strawberry milk."
Shoemaker said of the day, "It's amazing. The first time (Perez) said he wanted to do this whole thing, I wanted to join him."
Bruneau let the two students know that, as a result of their efforts, strawberry milk is now available to the entire school district.
Johnni Ernst, Perez and Shoemaker's teacher, said, "I think it's amazing. (Perez) had a simple idea because he noticed there was a need in the cafeteria, and it just grew and grew into all this. I'm very proud."
"I think it's just amazing," Messley said. "We are always looking for ways to make learning relevant for students and, to give them an opportunity to actively participate in decision making, encourages great citizenship."