Northern News Services
RCMP Cpl. Rod Rudiak spends some time chatting with students during the first morning of the new breakfast program at Rachel Arngnammaktiq elementary school in Baker Lake. - Photo courtesy of Taras Humen
Grade 5 teacher Taras Humen says school staff have been planning the program for quite some time and everyone felt good to finally see it come to fruition.
"We decided to make it a really special event to mark the occasion and had two RCMP officers escort the school bus around town to pick up students for the breakfast program," says Humen.
"There was a bit of fanfare and pictures taken, so the first morning was a real feel-good experience for everyone involved."
The program runs from 8:20 a.m. to 8:40 a.m. every school day and is being funded through the Brighter Futures program.
Humen says teachers at the school had been informally feeding the kids on their own until the breakfast program was launched.
The school would buy cereal and the teachers would simply feed the kids right in the classroom.
"We couldn't continue on with that approach and recognized we needed a uniform, school-wide program.
"So, at the beginning of the year, the administration struck a breakfast program committee.
"It took some time, but they eventually were able to put the program together the way it exists now."
Hopes high for program
The program is open to every student, with the first breakfast attracting about 125 kids.
Humen says the first meal, consisting of oatmeal, raisins, brown sugar and milk, is indicative of the types of breakfast foods that will be served throughout the year.
He says it's important for students to start their day off with a good hot meal.
"There's no doubt about the fact students have the capacity to learn more when they start their day off with a good meal.
"We're confident we can run the program for the remainder of this school year.
"Then -- keeping our fingers crossed the school that the community will buy into the effort and recognize it as a good program -- we'll run it again next year, as well," Humen says.