First responders serve school breakfast

Print Article

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald A girl receives a Pop Tart from Washington State Patrol Officer Michael Valentine on Monday at Midway Elementary School.

MOSES LAKE — Some of the kids at Midway Elementary School were excited that first responders were serving breakfast.

“Oh, look! The police!” one boy said as he grabbed a red, plastic food tray and got in line.

But others were not so excited.

“Would you like breakfast?” a teacher asked a thin girl who silently and warily shook her head “no” when she saw who was serving.

“Okay, not today,” the teacher said as the girl walked on.

It was the last day of National School Breakfast Week, organized by the School Nutrition Association as “a weeklong celebration of the School Breakfast Program,” which provides free and reduced-price breakfast to kids in need across the country.

The Moses Lake School District marked the event this year in what is becoming an annual ritual by having police officers, firefighters and paramedics serve breakfast to kids across the district.

And on Friday, they were at Midway Elementary.

“This is my first time doing this, and it was a lot of fun,” said State Patrol Officer Michael Valentine.

Valentine, who is 22 and only graduated from the State Patrol Academy last November, served toast and Pop Tarts, and then spent some time wandering around the Midway cafeteria talking with students and answering questions.

“A lot of kids said they want to be police, and there were a lot of questions about what’s on my belt,” Valentine said. “‘Where’s your Taser?’ That seems to be a popular question today.”

Breanna Murray, the head cook at Midway, said the school typically serves breakfast to around 100 kids in the morning, though Friday they had served 115.

“It’s a blast with the first responders, and this is the second or third year we’ve done this,” Murray said. “It’s a good interaction, it teaches them that the first responders aren’t scary or ominous.”

After breakfast, the kids gather in the school gymnasium to learn a little Hawaiian and sing the University of Hawaii fight song as part of the No Excuses University program, which helps prepare kids for college or technical education after high school.

“Did you know that ‘aloha’ means both hello and goodbye?” A teacher asked the gathered students.

“No way!” one student responded.

“We’re working towards becoming college bound and college readiness,” said Shawn West, the instructional coach at Midway.

But it all begins with breakfast. And a supportive community willing to spend time and invest in its kids.

“I had the opportunity to come interact with the kids, and that’s a good thing,” said Cliff Morgan, a volunteer firefighter with Grant County Fire District No. 5 who spent several mornings last week serving breakfast at Moses Lake schools.

“It’s important to the kids, and ultimately to us,” Morgan added.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached via email at

Print Article

Read More Local News

UW Marching Band parents, alums donate to George Elementary

December 11, 2018 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald GEORGE — Nearly 50 people were injured on Thanksgiving after a bus full of University of Washington Marching Band members rolled on Interstate 90 near George. After the crash George Elementary School...


Read More

Accused father killer to undergo competency evaluation

December 11, 2018 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald EPHRATA — Amid questions about his mental health, a Royal City man who is accused of shooting and killing his father in late November has been ordered to undergo a competency evaluation. Jonathan To...


Read More

December, and snow, are here

December 11, 2018 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald MOSES LAKE — Why yes, it’s December. That snow out there is one way Mother Nature makes that clear. Grant County residents can expect one to two inches during the day Tuesday, with the potential for...


Read More

Samaritan CEO wins national award

December 11, 2018 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald MOSES LAKE — Samaritan Healthcare chief executive officer Theresa Sullivan was one of 50 hospital executives nationwide to be recognized by an award from the American Hospital Association. Sullivan r...


Read More

Contact Us

(509) 765-4561
PO Box 910
Moses Lake, WA 98837

©2018 Columbia Basin Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy