Many kids get an allowance from their parents. They earn money by helping out around the house, doing chores, and doing yard work. Many kids get their allowance and spend it on themselves. Some spend their money right when they get it on candy or small toys. Others like to save up their money so that they can buy something that they really want. Ryan Kyote is a 9-year-old boy from West Park Elementary School in Irvine, California. He got an allowance, and he liked to save it. Usually, he bought sports equipment or video games with his allowance. There was one day that he decided to do something much more special with his savings.
All students in California are allowed a hot lunch at school. Under California law, if a student doesn’t have the money to pay for their lunch, they cannot get one. West Park Elementary School does things a bit different. Students pay for their lunches based on their income. If they don’t have the money, it is listed as an unpaid balance. When the school year ends, and the students have a balance, the school district absorbs it. If a student cannot pay, they would be given a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Until the balance is paid, they won’t get a hot lunch.
Ryan was at lunch one day getting his hot lunch when he saw his classmate sitting there with no lunch at all. The student’s school lunch balance was low, so he went hungry. Ryan felt bad for his classmate. He didn’t think that it was right that his friend had to go hungry just because his parents couldn’t afford to pay. He had a way to help, but he wanted to talk to his mother about it first.
A Cool Idea
When Ryan got home, he talked to his mother, Kylie Kirkpatrick, about the student who was forced to go a day without lunch. He told his mother that it wasn’t fair that his friend was not able to eat and that he had to sit and watch his friends eat. Ryan told Kylie that he shared his lunch with his friend, but he wanted to do more. He asked his mother if she could find out how much money his classmates owed on their lunch balances.
Kylie wasn’t sure that she could get the total balance for the class, but she wanted to know why Ryan was asking. He told his mother that he wanted to use his allowance to pay the balance for all of this classmates’ unpaid meals. Kylie was stunned. She knew that Ryan had been saving up for months to buy something special for himself. The fact that he would spend all of his
Sending An Email
Kylie sent an email to the Napa Valley Unified School District. In the email, she explained that her son wanted to pay off the outstanding lunch balances for his friends, and she needed to know what they owed. She was told that the third-grade students at West Park Elementary School owed $74.80.
Are You Sure?
Kylie told Ryan how much his classmates owed, and he wanted to pay the balance. Kylie wanted to make sure that Ryan was sure about spending his savings on his friends. She didn’t want him to pay off the balance, and then regret it later when he didn’t have the money to buy what he was saving for. Ryan assured his mother that he wanted to use his money this way.
Delivering the Money
The next morning, Ryan went to school with an envelope that contained $74.80. He brought it to the office, and he told the secretary that he wanted her to put the money toward his classmates’ overdue lunch balances. The secretary says that she was shocked. She asked Ryan where he got the money, and he told her that he had been saving his allowance.
Stacy Rollins is the Napa Valley Unified School District spokesperson. When asked about Ryan’s kind gesture, she 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.”
A Great Kid
Everyone who heard about what Ryan did for his classmates expressed their feelings. Most said that he had to be a really great kid to spend so much money to help others. For adults, $74.80 isn’t a whole lot of money. For a kid, it is a whole lot of money. What Ryan did was selfless and amazing. If there were more kids like Ryan in the world, it would be a better place. This 9-year-old uses allowance to pay off lunch debt for his entire class. Amazing.