MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Dozens of students from Horace Mann Middle School were recognized for making the honor roll with a special meal.

“Last quarter my grades were two Cs and all Bs, so honor roll, it was like, maybe,” said Natalie Thomas, a student.

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Good grades don’t always tell the whole story, Thomas is in the health magnet program. Courses can be rigorous.

“The other day we were analyzing bacteria, we were learning how to grow them,” she explained.

She’s one of about 60 honor students bussed to Boteco, a Brazilian restaurant in Miami, Wednesday morning.

“I’m happy that we are here today why? Because many of them don’t get out they don’t hear congratulations as much as they should,” said Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, Miami-Dade School Board member for District 2.

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“Horace Mann is a school with a very high level of poverty, with a high level of students that are learning English, a very diverse school, but it takes caring adults, the teachers, restaurant owners to say, we partner, we embrace our kids, we love them, we teach them,” Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said.

The idea to reward honor students with this lunch came as Carvalho watched soccer with Boteco owners.

“I graduated from Hialeah High, Pines Springs Junior High, so yes I am a product of this community as well,” said co-owner Giuseppe Concepcion.

They teamed up with local businesses to make this day memorable with gifts, food, games and even brought in a local glass company to help those in need of new frames.

“It feels amazing, and it is a big honor, especially because we’re from Horace Mann, and I’m glad that the teachers the staff members decided to do this for us,” said Alexandria Botten, another student.

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A simple meal carved out of love that might create memories to help students stay motivated.

Jacqueline Quynh