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Farney Elementary School fifth-grade student Larry Boykin (left) poses with Darin Crawford, CFISD director of nutrition services, as he was surprised with popsicles Nov. 2 during lunch. Boykin spearheaded a petition, which he’s holding, to bring the dessert back to the school menu. The petition reached Crawford, who was able to get a donation from vendor Southern Ice Cream.
CYPRESS — The chants filled every corner of the Farney Elementary School cafeteria during the final minutes of fifth-grade lunch.
“Larry! Larry! Larry!” repeated the nearly 200 students from the chairs.
Larry is one of their own – fifth-grade student Larry Boykin, who started a petition a few weeks back to get popsicles back on the lunch menu. And the chants and joyous celebration came after Darin Crawford, CFISD director of nutrition services, and members of this team not only announced they found a nutritious option, but were at Farney on Nov. 2 to deliver the popsicles for every fifth-grade student to try.
Katie Barckholtz, CFISD nutrition services marketing and special diet coordinator, passes out popsicles to Farney Elementary School fifth-grade students during lunch Nov. 2. Members of the department surprised the students with popsicles after a notice of a petition to bring the dessrt back to the campus found its way to their office.
“Larry is a rock star,” Crawford said between his speech and another round of cheers from the students.
In 2011, national regulations changed with breakfast and lunch offerings within schools. The standards for snack and dessert options sold outside of the meals were now known as Smart Snacks.
Southern Ice Cream donated 250 fruit punch-flavored popsicles to Farney Elementary School. After the dessert was taken off the menu due to changes in regulations, Farney fifth-grade student Larry Boykin spearheaded a petition to bring popsicles back to the campus. Darin Crawford, CFISD director of nutrition services, worked with Southern and found the treat within the Smart Snack guidelines.
Crawford and his team searched for a new business partner and found Southern Ice Cream, which is located in nearby Stafford and now offers a full line of Hershey’s Ice Cream products approved by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the United States Department of Agriculture for school lunch and a la carte programs.
At the beginning, however, Southern Ice Cream simply provided small dessert cups to CFISD.
Boykin said he heard others talk about how good the popsicles were.
“So I said, ‘Hey, let’s get popsicles back,’” he added.
Boykin went around to his fellow fifth-grade classmates and others around campus, collecting names to what would become a petition to bring the dessert back. One page soon became two and eventually the total – notebook paper and extra worksheets covered in names – grew to five and six.
He added a coversheet with a note addressed to the campus, hand delivering the package to Principal Patricia Reilly. The note read:
I have collected 248 signatures to bring back popsicles. Some say that the rainbow popsicles were delicious. Mr. (Louis) Yang even signed my petition to bring back popsicles to the cafeteria, and popsicles are better than ice cream. So can you please bring back popsicles?
Larry Boykin 3 in Mrs. (Diane) Troung class
“I was impressed that he organized his thoughts – he wanted popsicles and he went about it in an appropriate manner,” said Reilly, who added she was tipped off from another student but was still just as impressed when Boykin showed her the pages of names. “He used a process to find an answer to a problem. They banded together around this common goal and to me, it was exciting that he took action.”
Reilly emailed Crawford immediately. But she did. Crawford said he enjoyed the notion, so he checked with Southern Ice Cream and found a fruit punch-flavored popsicle that fit within the Smart Snack guidelines.
Farney Elementary School fifth-grade student Larry Boykin spearheaded a petition to bring popsicles back to the campus. He collected more than 240 names and even wrote a letter explaining his position. The CFISD Nutrition Services Department received the petition and found a dessert to fit new nutritional guidelines, surprising fifth-grade students during lunch Nov. 2.
It’s actually the second petition Crawford received following the new regulation. A student at Moore Elementary School spearheaded a petition last school year for macaroni and cheese, which came off the menu as a side item but again, thanks to Crawford and his team, found its way back to the campus as a pizza topping, which is part of an entree.
Crawford relayed the good news to Reilly and the surprise was set for Nov. 2 during the fifth-grade lunch. Midway through, Reilly brought Boykin on stage with her and spoke of his actions and petition. She then introduced the nutrition services department and called up Crawford, who told everyone Southern Ice Cream donated enough popsicles for everyone.
Boykin, of course, was first. Crawford did ask for feedback to share with Southern and he was showered with positivity from everyone who tasted the treat.
“I’m glad I could make Larry happy,” Crawford said. “He was the hero of the day and for us, this is fun.”
As far as the treat itself, the feedback was all positive. Even from the student who started it all.
“It was delicious,” Boykin said.
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