For National First Responders Day on Monday, some local students will be operating a “drive-thru” at their school, serving free coffee and doughnuts to area first responders.

Beginning at 9 a.m., any on-duty, off-duty or retired first responder is invited to pull through the front area of Lighthouse Christian Academy, 7001 S. Union Ave.

There, they will be treated to a complimentary Starbucks coffee, glazed doughnut and a handmade appreciation card created by one of the academy’s students, school officials said.

The drive-thru will be open until 2 p.m. The school is partnering with Starbucks and QuikTrip for the event.

Lighthouse Principal Justin Johnson said the operation will be run mostly by the students.

The school has 113 students from kindergarten through 12th grade, and he wants all of them to be involved in some way.

“They are learning to express their appreciation to the men and women who are doing a line of work for our benefit — who even put their own lives at risk,” Johnson said.

He said he’s been looking for a way the school could honor first responders on First Responders Day.

He talked to other principals who’ve tried luncheons or assemblies and learned those didn’t work well.

“A lot of first responders couldn’t attend because of their line of work. They couldn’t take that much time out of their day,” he said.

Johnson, who worked for Starbucks in college, remembered from his experience there that the first-responder community liked coffee and the ease of a drive-thru.

The idea developed from there.

“We just want to recognize and honor them, while also being mindful of their day,” he said. “We just want to say thank you.”

He said if all goes well, the school would like to make it an annual event.

National First Responders Day was created by the U.S. Senate in 2017 as a way to recognize the nation’s police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

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Tim Stanley 918-581-8385

Twitter: @timstanleyTW

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