U.S. Space Force boosts school lunch numbers in Copperas Cove ISD

Special to Leader-Press 


Do you remember what career you dreamed of having when you were a kid? If you wanted to be a superhero or a wizard, you may have quickly realized that those jobs don’t actually exist. But there are some more achievable roles that come up again and again if you ask kids “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Very often, the jobs kids mention offer thrills, action, fame, or the chance to help people. One of the jobs landing in the top-15 for children according to a Harris poll is becoming an astronaut. 

This has given a new popularity to the new U.S. Space Force that just celebrated its first birthday in December. The new command is taking advantage of its young supporters’ desire to become astronauts and recently used their popularity to help boost the number of students eating school lunches. 

The Copperas Cove ISD Child Nutrition Department collaborated with U.S. Space Forces to reward the class that had the highest percentage increase in number of students eating lunch at school during National School Lunch Week, said department director, Melissa Bryan. 

“When the Texas Department of Agriculture announced the theme ‘Blast off with a Healthy School Lunch,’ I got the idea to reach out to the newest military branch, the U.S. Space Force.  Chief Master Sergeant Roger Towberman, Senior Enlisted Advisor of the United States Space Force, recorded the promotional video that kicked off the campaign. Then each day of National School Lunch Week, a different service member from U.S. Space Force recorded customized videos focused on our exact menu and recorded just for CCISD.”

The class with the highest increase in school lunch participation for the school district earned a 30-minute live Zoom interview with NASA Astronaut Colonel Tyler N. Hague. Students in Williams/Ledger Elementary School Teacher Carlos Armas’ class jumped their participation by 32.95 percent and enjoyed a question and answer period with Hague on lap tops spread across desks throughout the classroom.

“The students filled the entire 30 minutes with wonderfully thought out questions to ask the astronaut. Questions ranged from how to do you sleep in space to what type of foods do you eat in space,” Bryan said. “Not only did the kids learn things, but we adults who were present learned as well. Several kids even expressed an interest in working towards a career as an astronaut.”

Following the Zoom call, students created a picture frame for the astronaut and U.S. Space Force, enjoyed a selfie station with a moon spaceship, and chocolate Moon Pies. 

The United Sates Space Force, activated Dec. 20, 2019, is the first new branch of the U.S. military since 1947 with headquarters at The Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. 

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