Thursday, June 21, 2012

KIDS EAT SMART VOLUNTEERS WRAP UP

Another school year is over.

I am looking forward to the relaxed mornings, not having to stay on top of their homework and no more pick ups after school!

The relaxed approach to mornings has already begun for my oldest guy who actually had to go to school for the first day this week to collect his report card. No exams, no school dad! The last few mornings he has just rolled over and slept in. Getting the brood up this morning for breakfast and out the door for school was tough!

I thought they might have been excited about the last day. Nope. They are already in Summer mode, with the exception of Liam who has been riding his bike to Mary Queen Of Peace over the past few days. The new found freedom has him raring to go!

Speaking of breakfast, the end of the school year means the end of the Kids Eat Smart Program for this school year. I would really like to to thanks the volunteers who make the program at Virginia Park Elementary such a success.

The Kids Eat Smart Program is celebrating 20 years of ensuring school-aged children in Newfoundland and Labrador are well nourished to be ready to learn.

A few facts:
  •  Only 49% of Canadian girls and 36% of Canadian boys eat breakfast on a regular basis.
  •  70% of children aged 4-8 years do not meet the minimum recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. At ages 9-13, the figures are 62% for girls and 68% for boys.
  •  More than 1 in 4 preschool children in Newfoundland and Labrador are already overweight or obese. The magnitude of the problem may reflect the fact that the province's rate of overweight and obesity among older children and adults are the highest in the country.
  •  Inadequately nourished children score lower on vocabulary, reading, comprehension, arithmetic and general knowledge tests and have poorer psychosocial outcomes.
  •  Students from schools participating in a coordinated program that incorporated recommendation for school based healthy eating programs exhibited significantly lower rates of overweight and obesity, had healthier diets and reported more physical activities than students from schools without nutrition programs.

The Rotary, Knight's of Columbus, St. Mark's Church and the staff from Our MHA, Lorraine Micheal's office, school staff  and a handful of community volunteers have given their time and talent morning, after morning. In rain, sleet, snow storms and wind storms they have woken early, trudged into the school to serve breakfast to our kids. Others have spend countless hours organizing menus and schedules, dragging car loads of fresh fruit, milk, juice and other items to the school/

I also have to acknowledge the provincial   Government, corporate partners and our many donors, who really make this happen.

At the risk of leaving someone out, I have to recognize the special contributions of two staff members at the school who give far beyond duty. Mrs. Shears bakes muffins, banana bread and other healthy goodies every day for the kids. Vice-principle Patricia Emberly, who has two young pre-school children of her own, always managed somehow to be around most mornings to help out.

We are fortunate to have such a strong sense of community and purpose.

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 called Kids Eat Smart Clubs. 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. Kids Eat Smart Foundation is supported by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Platinum Partner TD Bank, as well as other corporate partners, and donors. For more information on Kids Eat Smart Foundation visit www.kidseatsmart.ca.

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