Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Hive

The Hive at Valley View and the Cyber Cafe at South View offer our middle school students opportunities to practice the transition from home to school and out into the wider community in safe, welcoming environments. Kudos to the staff, parents and students who make these experiences positive!
Ric Dressen @EdinaSuper

“Mom, I need my Hive money!” was the early morning refrain at our house many days this winter. With lunch at 10:30 a.m. and play rehearsal sometimes lasting as late as 6:45 p.m., our sixth grader would not have survived without The Hive, the snack cafe at Valley View Middle School. 

The Hive operates to give kids staying after school a chance to grab something to eat before heading to an activity or after-school program or walking home. Approximately 30 parent volunteers take turns staffing the cafe, which is open for about an hour after school Monday through Thursday each week. The Hive sells “relatively healthy” snacks, according to Valley View parent and Hive manager Cindi Laurent. She is responsible for keeping the shelves stocked – not an easy job, given that the cafe serves roughly $100.00 of snacks each day.  

Kids can choose from a variety of offerings, including granola bars, cheese sticks, beef jerky, Chex mix, juice, Gatorade and smoothies. Top sellers are smoothies and muffins. The Hive does not sell pop or candy. It prices numerous items in the 25- to 50-cent range, with the student budget in mind. Clearly the selection is popular, given that 50-75 kids visit The Hive each day after school. “The kids love it. It really adds to our school climate,” says Valley View Dean of Students Lillian Ziff.

The Hive is decorated with a mural of vivid green rolling hills and trees. Soft pop music plays in the background. Outside in the adjacent hallway, five tables with stools provide space for friends to eat their after-school snacks together. “It’s nice to get a little snack after school,” commented sixth grader Isabella. Kyle, a sixth grader who shared a table with three friends, note that “we can do homework while we eat and the food is pretty good and cheap.” 

Our son’s many trips to The Hive fueled not only his appetite, but his growing need for independence.  He could decide when he wanted to stop by The Hive. In this kid-dedicated space, he could make his own food choices and socialize away from omnipresent parental eyes.  

The Hive gives to kids after school in more than nutritional ways. All profits are donated to Valley View after-school programs. In the past, Hive proceeds have contributed to the cost of after-school homework support.

Sarah Morris

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