Instead of spending his allowance on sports gear, this 9-year-old boy decided to pay of his peers lunch debt. His thoughtful and kind gesture has been appreciated by all.
A 9-year-old boy showed the world how even a small gesture of kindness can go a long way. Ryan Kirkpatrick, a third-grade student at the West Park Elementary School, decided to make a difference when he learned about kids who could not afford school lunch and was accumulating debt. His mother Kylie Kirkpatrick told ABC News 7 how her son asked her to find out how much money his classmates owed the school, and was eager to do his bit in helping his classmates. "He was really upset about it," Kylie told Napa Valley Register.
A 9-year-old boy is making a difference for his peers in #Napa_California. #RyanKirkpatrick had a conversation with his mom about kids who couldn't afford #School_Lunches, he decided to do something about it.https://t.co/qXd60AV9m3— R.C. Jackson (@RCJackson0045) June 9, 2019
After going through the details, his mother discovered that his peers owed the school $74.50 for lunches that range from 30 cents to $3.25 reports ABC News7. According to local Napa California station KGO, the total debt of the school was as high as $700 which was over Ryan's budget. So he decided to pay off the amount that his third-grade classmates owed. "So, I took that email and came to Ryan and said, 'What do you want to do?' He said, 'I guess I can pay for it.' I said, 'Are you sure?' He said, 'Yes,'" Kylie Kirkpatrick told the outlet.
WATCH: Cooking and mealtime are important parts of the Kirkpatrick family's day. So when Ryan had a conversation with his mom about kids who couldn't afford school lunches, he decided to do something about it.https://t.co/XcZYKowyQt pic.twitter.com/7xaiw9B5PN— FOX44 Baton Rouge (@wgmbfox44) June 10, 2019
When the single mother first contacted the school, she hesitated a bit when she heard the school's total outstanding lunch debt amount ($700). She recalled thinking this "is not in our budget." When she got the number for the third-grade balance she said, "That’s a number we can handle." On May 24, Ryan went down to the district office on Jefferson Street and paid off the balance which, as expected, surprised the staff there.
When Ryan Kirkpatrick, a student at West Park Elementary School, learned that some kids cannot afford lunch at school and have to take on debt, he wanted to make a difference, according to his mom, Kylie Kirkpatrick. #NoKidHungry https://t.co/OBVJUkMWnL— Jim Barrows (@JimBarrows) June 10, 2019
Ryan used up his allowance money in order to clear their debts, which he would have otherwise used to purchase various sports gear like autographed baseballs. However, he gave the amount to his school and chose to remain anonymous. "I want them to realize people actually think about them, instead of just telling them what they did because you’re just bragging about stuff," said the 9-year-old. "So, I want them to feel happy someone cares about them."
Kylie revealed how incredibly proud she was of her son. "I thought it was a cool idea," she told Napa Valley Register further expressing how no kid should enter school being unsure whether or not they will get to eat breakfast or lunch. Both mother and son hope that this gesture of paying off the outstanding balance would help inspire other schools to do something similar. Principal Amye Scott said, "It’s a wonderful way of thinking about other people. I’m proud to have him as a student."
The proud mother clicked pictures of her son holding the receipt of the payment as soon as he arrived. She also said that her son was not afraid of trying new things and made friends pretty easily. Ryan would usually invest his allowance money to purchase sports gears due to his active involvement in football, basketball, BMX and club soccer.
Regardless of a negative balance, the Napa Valley Unified School District does not allow its students to go hungry or keep them from having a hot meal. This is due to a California law that prevents students from "lunch shamming." An NVUSD spokeswoman, Stacy Rolla said, "We never want to send a child away without a lunch regardless of their ability to pay." Appreciating this gesture Rollo said, "This was a very considerate and special donation and the district applauds the efforts of the student who has shown compassion to his school and fellow classmates."
NVUSD elementary schools have two breakfast and lunch options depending on the family's income. They either charge 30 cents or $1.25 for breakfast and 40 cents or $3.25 for lunch. Parents have until June 30 to pay off the outstanding balance for the school lunch. The district will absorb the remainder once the due date exceeds, and the current estimation of the amount is said to be somewhere between $20,000 and $25,000.
What's your phrase-that-makes-you-want-to-start-lighting-shit-on-fire mine is "school lunch debt"— Julia Claire (@ohJuliatweets) June 10, 2019