The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

‘Free Lunch’: The Hope for Connection

Free Lunch: The Hope for Connection

On Tuesday, Oct. 3, author Rex Ogle will be having a virtual interview with Enloe students and staff to help them develop their own stories as well as talk more about his own. Thanks to Carolyn Carr, one of Enloe’s media specialists, Enloe is working to help share more of the student body’s own stories and different perspectives through personal recorded statements. 

Carr applied for a grant offered by Wake County last spring. She had an idea to help students voice their own stories—all she needed were the resources to fund it. Aside from financing a passion project for the school, she also wanted the money to buy a book called Free Lunch by Rex Ogle. 

Free Lunch is a memoir that details the experience of Ogle in his sixth-grade year when he was in the position of needing the free lunch program. 

“He tells a story about the embarrassment of that and just living at home when he was really poor, and how it sort of differentiated him from other students,” Carr said. 

Even sitting there talking about Free Lunch, the passion and excitement were evident in Carr’s face and body language. 

“When I finished the book, it was so touching. I just looked around I thought, ‘There’s a lot of kids at our school who are hungry or who have a story that we just don’t know because we just see [them] every day and talk to [them] and assume that they’re just like us,’” Carr said.

The idea of getting a school lunch for free may seem nice to some, but for students who don’t have an option, it can lead to embarrassment. Knowing that you are not alone can help to ease those feelings of humiliation. At a big school such as Enloe, that sense of community is even more critical, as there are so many diverse groups of students with different experiences and backgrounds that are yet to be shared. 

The personal stories Carr had read inspired her to help students at Enloe share their experiences about the free lunch program or any other personal stories. She wanted to create a safe space for students to feel less alone and more represented—she wanted to remind them that they had a place at Enloe High School. 

Carr wanted to create an archive full of student’s recorded stories and messages, with stories written and recorded by the students themselves. The stories highlight not only those who are a part of the free lunch program at Enloe, but anyone who has a story they want to share. 

While the project itself is still in the works, there is a general format they are hoping to follow.

“It will first be in a written format, if they’re doing it through their English class, but you have to have a written form first. Then, we’re making one of our back rooms into a recording studio where people can actually record, and we’ll catalog their story so others can hear,” Carr said.

Students will have to sign themselves up to share their stories and staff members will proofread before the official recording takes place, just to assure accuracy and understanding for the listener. The students, however, will be the ones to record. Students will likely get a 30-minute time slot to record, and the hope is for recordings to be kept at 15 minutes or less. 

 “I hope that students can feel some joy or relief in telling their story, or just some satisfaction from telling a story about yourself. That’s one of the things I’m hoping to accomplish,” Carr said.

Students can tune into the virtual meeting on Oct. 3 during the 4th period. It is estimated to be an hour long and teachers will be given a link to join via Google Meet. Copies of Free Lunch are also currently available in the Media Center for anyone interested in reading it for themselves.

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About the Contributor
Sydney Woods
Sydney Woods, Staff Writer
(She/her) Sydney is a senior at Enloe High School and is excited to spend her last year writing for the Eagle's Eye! Though writing is one of her many hobbies, she also loves listening to music, viewing and creating art, reading, and watching Studio Ghibli movies.
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