Breakfast club jumpstarts NVSS youth

A partnership between Breakfast Club of Canada and Rio Tinto Alcan will see northern students are properly feed in the morning

Representatives of Rio Tinto Alcan

Representatives of Rio Tinto Alcan

Kids at Nechako Valley Secondary (NVSS) can now look forward to a yummy nutritious breakfast every day at school.

The Breakfast Club of Canada (BCC) and Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA) have joined together to bring northern students a healthy start. An official launch of their new breakfast program at NVSS Dec. 10 saw students lined up down the hall. Robin Ryan, provincial coordinator with the BCC, says it’s not just about feeding the kids.

“This program gets kids to school on time and gives them what they need for academic success. It also builds a greater communication between children and adults and will help with bullying,” Mr. Ryan said. “If family members and staff come and sit with the kids in the morning, kids may start to open up and academics increase. In our eyes, it levels the playing field.”

From Prince George to Port Edward, the BCC’s breakfast program helps 12 schools across seven communities including Vanderhoof, Burns Lake, Houston and Terrace. All thanks to the $250,000 donation from RTA.

The clubs mission is to serve three out-of-four food groups for students who will see things such as eggs, milk, whole grains, yogurt, fruits and vegetables. At the launch, heaping piles of waffles were served.

“Nice! Food,” Dezirae Wall said, Gr 10 student, as she digs into her strawberry covered waffles. “A lot of times you don’t have the time at home because you have ten other things to do in the morning. It’ll be nice having something to eat when I go to school,”

Although the program has been open for a few months in Nechako Valley, it’s now been taken to the next level, said Ken Young, NVSS principal.

“The program ran in the past but used up a lot of our resources. Before we had toast and oatmeal because orange juice and fruit was a bit pricey for us. But now were looking at waffles and breakfast wraps and everyone knows, if kids are hungry they can’t focus,” Mr. Young said.

The program will run every day with an especially large breakfast hosted every Wednesday. Community members are encouraged to come out on Wednesdays to help serve food, Mr. Young said.

“It’s really good for employers to see the kids happy and everyone is happy when their eating,” Mr. Young said with a smile.

Renovations of the small auditorium at NVSS should be completed by February 2015 giving students a designated place to eat.

Bleacher style bucket seats, a new sound system, acoustic tiles, esthetics (trim and paint) and a high quality HD projector will be added to the room.

“With the new facility and breakfast program, the kids can watch news in there and eat. It’ll be a great way to start the day,” Mr. Young said.