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Popcorn Friday

The last Friday each month, teachers at Whitwell Elementary have it tough.

Monday, January 29, 2001

The last Friday each month, teachers at Whitwell Elementary have it tough.

Students’ concentration usually drifts from their subjects to the smell of fresh popcorn wafting throughout the building.

Popcorn Fridays have been a tradition for many years at the school, not only for the students but also for the poppers – a handful of volunteers who don green aprons to fix more than 200 bags of kernels for the kids to enjoy.

It’s really fun to be around them, said Fran and Odie Justice.

"We enjoy each other’s company," Mrs. Justice said, smiling. "And when you’re around young people, you stay young longer."

Nancy and Jack Walker said the group is booked at the school throughout the year.

"We just do this, and we have the time to do this because most of us are retired," Mrs. Walker said. "I think young people need as much attention and love as they can get this day and age."

Carolyn Boykin said she remembered the school started the event as a type of fund-raiser for playground equipment and air conditioning, then the PTA took it over.

"I just enjoy it the look in the kids’ eyes," she said.

This Friday, the students gave the volunteers a hand.

As they filed into the cafeteria for their treat, many walked up to the group, handing out certificates. Two students held a sign in the back that said, "Thank you."

As each was introduced they received applause, and a smile from every child.

The Whitwell poppers include Mr. and Mrs. Justice, Mr. and Mrs. Walker, Ruth Childers, Mrs. Boykin and Jim O’Leary.