12/11/2013 1:46:00 PM Lunch Buddies share more than snacks
Lunch buddies Angela Reinoehl and Madison Martin score up a Yahtzee game during a recent lunch meeting. The program, organized through First United Methodist Church of Robinson, pairs adults and children at least once a month for a meal and activity. (Graham Milldrum photo)
Lunch Buddies, the long-running youth program that pairs adults and students, has survived the dissolution of its parent organization and is looking for more volunteers.
One pair is Angela Reinoehl, Robinson, and Madison Martin, a Lincoln Grade School fourth-grader.
At their most recent meeting, they ate a cafeteria lunch of corn, salad, cheese pizza and milk.
For special events, Reinoehl will bring a meal with her, like McDonald's or something else her buddies request.
Then they might talk or play games. On her recent visit the two did both.
They talked about Madison's new acrylic nails, her bracelets and her friends.
They also played a game of Yahtzee.
Sometimes the buddy will go out with their friends on the playground, Reinoehl said. That's their decision, she said, as the time is about the student.
Madison had asked Reinoehl to be her lunch buddy. Others are students the administration suggests to the program.
The program recently called for men to join the program, as the Lincoln Grade School staff had identified five children they thought would do best with a male presence.
The positions were filled, but organizer Connie Calvert said they always needs more volunteers.
Reinoehl is one of the adults who has several lunch buddies that she sees individually. Others have one child.
It's largely a scheduling thing, she said. The adults meet with the students at least once a month, but some meet more often.
The program is active at the schools in Hutsonville, Robinson, Oblong and New Hebron.
The program has been running for decades, with some current volunteers having been students in the program.
The program was part of the Youth Alliance, which dissolved in 2012. It is now run through Robinson First United Methodist Church. Calvert asks people interested in participating contact her at 546-1412 or the church at 544-3411.