The Lunch Bunch has quickly become the place to be at Wood Middle School.
Counselors Syrinna Garza and Jessica Hernandez started the group this year so they could check in with students over lunch, providing for even more one-on-one and group counseling time. They start each session by talking about how they’re feeling that day, rating it on a scale of 1 – 5.
That scale wasn’t high enough for sixth grader Triston Robles.
“I’m feeling about 100 about this. I’m glad I get to be with my friends and meet new people.”
That’s the goal of the Lunch Bunch, to connect students and encourage communication. Garza and Hernandez cover a lot of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) ground during lunch. Conversations and topics include everything from best practices for conflict resolution to managing feelings and self-esteem.
Lunch Bunch isn’t just productive – it’s also really fun. Especially when a classic game like hangman is used to inspire talking points on healthy coping skills and stress relievers.
“Just coming here for lunch, they’ve made friends and are interacting so well together,” said Hernandez. “It makes a big difference for them and they enjoy it.”