Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Breakfast of Champions: Bassano School Parent Council

I've been struggling to sit down and write something, because in truth, I have so many things I wanted to write about that I couldn't decide on one thing, so in the end, I didn't write about anything. So today, I forced myself to sit down and write.

Growing up as a young boy in the 60's, times were different. We lived a simple life, and not always an easy life. We didn't come from affluence. We had the basic necessities of life. My mother made lots of our clothes; she was resourceful. My father hunted as much as possible. We had the only farm on the Reserve. We always had milk cows, goats (because my sister had allergies to cow milk), horses, and chickens. So we had milk for our daily porridge, and eggs for baking needs or for selling. But we had some lean times, even though I was usually oblivious to the stresses my parents were going through financially. I do remember one time we ate porridge for three weeks breakfast, dinner, and supper. My mother was very creative with the meals, and we didn't complain. But from the outside, most people wouldn't have guessed we had any needs, because my parents did there best to provide us with those three basic meals and dressed us properly.

Although times are different from the 60's, I don't think this part has changed. Most parents do their best to provide for their children and make the necessary sacrifices often before their own needs. Unfortunately, we do still have people in need in our communities, but most don't talk about it and want anyone to know. And I can respect their need for privacy. The last thing we want to do is make people feel bad about their situations.

LtoR: Leslie DeMott, Nickole Buck,
Darcy DeMott, & Sandra Mitchell
So that is why I am thrilled to share with you that on January 12, 2015, Bassano School started a Breakfast Program. Thanks to the donation of a local charity, money was provided to start a breakfast program for our students, in cooperation from our Parent Council volunteers. 19 parent volunteers have offered their time to come to the school and prepare a simple healthy breakfast snack of cereal, yogurt, and fruit to our elementary and junior high students that may have a need for breakfast.

We are thrilled to see the community come forward to assist in this. It will not interfere with student learning times, as teachers and teacher assistants are not required to help out. The parent volunteers show up at 8 AM to prep the food and get the cart ready, and are delivering the food to the classrooms by 8:30AM.  

A student breakfast program is an excellent way to help ensure children and youth in our community attend school well-nourished and ready to learn. National statistics state that 1 in 7 children have not eaten breakfast each morning. Our school is no different, especially with students getting on buses as early as 7:15AM. By the time they get to school, it’s been 2 hours since some of them ate before coming to school or some not at all.

Research shows that breakfast nutrition programs help to:

  • Provide students with healthy meals and snacks that provide the energy they need to stay alert and engaged throughout the school day;
  • foster a happy and healthy school environment;
  • decrease student absenteeism, in-class disruptions and conflict between students;
  • increase students self-esteem, problem-solving skills and creative abilities;
  • develop life-long healthy eating habits; and
  • provide children and youth with the best chance at success possible!

The Breakfast Program is available to all students in elementary and junior high, however, they are not required to participate. We follow all health and safety guidelines for this program, as well as comply to the nutritional food guide. If you have any questions, please call the office and ask to speak to me. I would love to field your questions.
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