Every week Tiny Tigers (our littlest students) bring in their "homework" (a page from their taekwondo coloring book) and receive a star for their work. When they finish the book and have 25 stars, they earn a special lunch with their instructors at a restaurant of their choice. Last Saturday, Ms Dorothea Soroye got to have lunch with us and her mom at Barney's Burgers.
Her mom said she was looking forward to it all week and even planned what she would eat and who she would sit next to (Mrs Navarrete--in case you were curious) as well as some potential discussion topics (so cute!).
We enjoyed our special lunch with Dorothea and her mom, which got us to thinking about all the past and present families we have been lucky enough to connect with over the decades we have been a member of the Noe Valley community. One of the first Tigers I ever got the opportunity to go to lunch with was Catia Claburn. As she will readily admit, Catia was a bit of a space case at first. She recently told me that the reason she started taekwondo was that her dad brought her by to see a class and that she wandered out onto the floor and got kicked (accidentally) so Master Navarrete felt terrible and offered her a free month of classes. Fifteen years later, Catia is a 3rd degree black belt, is in the top 10 for her ATA division in the state of California, recently got accepted to a number of prestigious colleges and universities, and is all-around one of the kindest, most genuine human beings you will ever meet.
We have been doing reward lunches with Tigers for many many years now and we absolutely love it. It's a great way to get to know both the kids and their parents, and it gives the Tiny Tigers a goal to look forward to for their diligent work. There are few other facets of their lives where both short and long term goals are reinforced, and it never ceases to amaze us how something as insignificant as a lunch can bring a new level of interconnectedness with us and our students/community.
Keep up the fantastic work Tigers!!!!