Stu­dents get healty start to their day

Alpine Observer - - News -

STU­DENTS at Myrtle­ford P12 Col­lege were among 500 Vic­to­rian schools mark­ing a healthy mile­stone last week as part of the School Break­fast Club pro­gram.

The Vic­to­rian Govern­ment funded pro­gram, de­liv­ered in part­ner­ship with Food­bank Vic­to­ria, is help­ing kids at Myrtle­ford P12 Col­lege get a healthy start to their school day.

“We have about 40-50 stu­dents at­tend Break­fast Club on Tues­day’s and Fri­day’s,” said school nurse Rose­mary Bunge who co­or­di­nates the break­fast pro­gram at Myrtle­ford P12 Col­lege.

“Start­ing the day with break­fast at school en­hances a feel­ing of be­long­ing which is ev­i­dent by the smiles seen on the stu­dent’s faces while en­joy­ing break­fast with their peers and ex­tend­ing their so­cial skills.”

Each term, Food­bank de­liv­ers the healthy break­fast menu of Vic­to­ri­an­man­u­fac­tured oats, Vita Brits, whole­grain Chee­rios, muesli, UHT milk, baked beans, fresh ap­ples, canned fruit, and fruit cups.

Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion James Mer­lino said School Break­fast Clubs were a sim­ple way to sup­port learn­ing.

“We know break­fast is the most im­por­tant meal of the day, es­pe­cially in set­ting up stu­dents to con­cen­trate, learn and be at their best while at school,” he said.

“One in seven chil­dren ar­rive at school with an empty stom­ach and our School Break­fast Clubs mean these stu­dents no longer go hun­gry and can now get the most out of their ed­u­ca­tion.”

In­de­pen­dent re­search shows 81 per cent of schools re­port im­proved stu­dent con­cen­tra­tion as a re­sult of at­tend­ing Break­fast Club; 76 per cent re­port im­proved so­cial re­la­tion­ships; 72 per cent re­port im­proved en­gage­ment in class­room ac­tiv­i­ties and 70 per cent re­port im­proved be­hav­iour.

Food­bank Vic­to­ria chief ex­ec­u­tive Dave McNa­mara said School Break­fast Clubs were also pro­vid­ing a great in­for­mal learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment for stu­dents.

“They’re learn­ing skills,” he said.

“They’re de­vel­op­ing con­fi­dence and ex­pand­ing their so­cial skills by in­ter­act­ing with vol­un­teers – who are pos­i­tive role mod­els – as well as older and younger stu­dents.”

Coles, Hein­ers Bak­ery and the Myrtle­ford Bake­house have been keen sup­port­ers of the pro­gram. valu­able life

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