A brekkie bonus
Three area schools successfully launch new breakfast programs
By 8:15 on Wednesday morning, the cafeteria at All Hallows Elementary in North River is already a beehive of activity.
A host of volunteer parents and grandparents are milling about, chatting cordially with teachers and other staff. They’re preparing for the arrival of about 300 students on the buses in 15 minutes’ time. All of them will be hungry, more or less.
Probably all of them have already eaten at home, but that won’t stop them from digging into the healthy food choices laid out before them — cereals and milk and cheese and fruit and juice.
The inviting smell of toast-in-the-making pervades the room. Soon, the tables are loaded down with food and, within minutes, the atmosphere will be abuzz with young students making their choices, jostling each other and chattering.
Breakfast is about to be served, and All Hallows principal Kevin Giles is all smiles.
He has made it his personal mission to “push healthy, active living.”
Since the start of the school year, 10 new Kids Eat Smart Clubs have been started in the province, with three of them — All Hallows; Persalvic Elementary in Victoria; and Perlwin Elementary in Winterton — in the TrinityConception region.
“ We are pleased to have so many new KES Clubs already in this school year,” says Daphne LeDrew, executive director of Kids Eat Smart Foundation.
There are some 425 students at All Hallows, where a breakfast program was launched some years back, but gradually faded.
But it’s back stronger than ever, and growing steadily, says Giles. Breakfast is now served three days-a-week, and there are plans to expand it to a full week.
Giles is especially pleased by what he calls the “dory load of volunteers” who support the program, and says the feedback has been encouraging.
At Persalvic, principal Byron King said the breakfast program is “going over really well.” There are some 275 students in the Kindergarten to Grade 9 school.
Four tables are set up in different locations each morning at Persalvic, containing a variety of nutritious foods such as fruit, yogurt tubes and juice boxes. The program is especially tasteful to those students who have to travel 40 minutes from Turk’s Cove.
King points out the object of the program “is not to fill students up, but to provide them with a nutritious snack in preparation for morning recess.”
King also expresses appreciation to those organizations that make financial contributions to the breakfast program. The foundation matches such donations dollar-for-dollar.
“ We’re growing the program with more and more people being involved,” he says.
Perlwin Elementary principal David Penney, with 89 students under his charge, calls the program “excellent and wonderful.”
The program began Jan. 10, and runs five days-a-week. The “grab and go” breakfasts includes cereal bars, yogurt bars and tubes, fresh fruit, cheese sticks, cereal, and apple and orange juice.
The program is intended for any and all students who wish to benefit from it, and Harris said the children enjoy both the healthy and social aspects of the program. Support from church groups have been excellent, she says.
Like other schools, Perlwin is hoping to expand the program in the future.
Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador is a registered charity that supports education, health and well-being of school-aged children through quality nutrition programs.
The foundation has established over 200 breakfast, lunch and snack clubs throughout the province, which are available to more than 52,000 children on any given school day. The foundation is supported by the provincial government, as well as corporate partners and donors.