School Counselor Spotlight: Lunch Bunch

Kayla, a second year counselor at a rural K-5 Elementary school, shared how she uses Lunch Bunches to connect with students she serves. Kayla is able to get to know all of her students and build rapport by meeting students during lunch.

Kayla wrote:

One goal that I have set for myself this year is to get to know the students in my building better. Besides classroom lessons, groups, and individual counseling, I wanted to create a something where I gave each student the opportunity to meet me, regardless of whether there was a problem or concern.

So, after brainstorming I decided to put together a program called Lunch Bunch where students could sign up to have lunch with me in my office one time during the school year.

Kayla's Lunch Bunch sign up sheet.  
Click on the image to download a PDF Lunch Bunch sign up sheet.

Students are bunched into groups of 3-4 and are invited to bring their lunch to my office for a special lunch with me.

Each class is assigned to a month and since we have staggered lunches at my school, two classes are featured per month. I created a calendar with student names on it for each classroom for the month they are featured for Lunch Bunch and the teacher gets to choose where to hang it in the classroom. Looking for their name on the calendar gets students excited about coming to Lunch Bunch. 
Kayla used Microsoft Word to create her calendar.

The students wear a special tag to lunch on the day they have Lunch Bunch. I meet them in the cafeteria and take them down to my office for lunch.

Happy students with their lunches and their lunch bunch passes!

Lunch Bunch pass.  
To make the passes, Kayla printed out the passes and laminated them. 
She punched a hole in the pass with a hole punch. 
She then added a string so students could wear the pass around their neck.
Click on the image above to download a PDF of Kayla's Lunch Bunch passes.

By offering Lunch Bunch, I am reaching out to all students in my school. I am able to build rapport with them before an issue arises. Students learn where my office is and how I can help them. Hosting Lunch Bunch doesn't cost a dime and can make such a huge impact on students simply by building relationships. So far Lunch Bunch has been very successful. I love doing Lunch Bunch...often times it is the highlight of my day! The kids get so excited and it is fun to have "special" time for them in my office. I look forward to the months to come, filled with plenty of Lunch Bunch dates!

  • Lunch Bunch allows Kayla to advocate for herself and her role as a school counselor by informing students of her role and what she can offer them. 
  • She is also able to advocate for her role to teachers by explaining what services she offers and how she wants to meet with EVERY student.
  • Students are able to get to know Kayla and the services she offers in an informal setting. Meeting with students over lunch is a neutral time and helps dispel myths that they are in "trouble" if they are coming to the school counselor's office!
  • By getting to know ALL students, Kayla may get ideas for future groups or classroom lessons based student concerns or issues she observes.
  • The Lunch Bunch passes are super cute! 
  • Having a wearable pass makes students feel special! A wearable pass is also easy to keep track of especially when students have to carry their lunch!
  • I love that Kayla included a PDF version of the Lunch Bunch passes so that you can make your own. Making your own passes and laminating them is a great way to save money and allows you to re-use passes.  Making the passes wearable is also super easy!
Thanks so much Kayla for sharing your lunch bunch idea with us!

Do you host a lunch bunch at your school? Share about it in the comment section.

Also, check other School Counselor bloggers who host lunch bunches at their schools!
                                                                                 Source: via Danielle Schultz on Pinterest

                                                                                Source: via Danielle Schultz on Pinterest

                                                                Source: via Danielle Schultz on Pinterest

School Counseling From A-Z

                                                                          Source: via Danielle Schultz on Pinterest

If you are a school counselor blogger who has written a post about lunch bunches, let me know and I will add it to the ones above!

Do you have an innovative idea, creative lesson, or quality resource you want to share with other school counselors? Have you done something to make a positive impact on your students, your school, and yourself? School Counselor Spotlight is a way for you to share your innovative ideas, creative lessons, and quality resources with School Counselor Blog readers!

Send your stories, ideas, creative lessons, and/or resources to with School Counselor Spotlight in the subject line. Please include a description of the idea, lesson, or resource, including costs, inspiration, pictures and how it impacted your students or school!

**Photos must be of good quality and unedited.** 

Chosen ideas and stories will be featured in the School Counselor Spotlight on School Counselor Blog!

Comment below, tweetcontact Danielle, or share on the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page!

Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources. Connect with Danielle via emailTwitterPinterestLinkedInGoogle+, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.

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