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Breakfast program returns to Tusarvik school

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, October 17, 2007

REPULSE BAY - Students at Tusarvik school in Repulse Bay are, once again, starting their day with a healthy breakfast.

Tusarvik's breakfast program is now in its 15th year.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Bonnie Kopak gets a glass of refreshing cold juice to go with her tasty breakfast at Tusarvik school in Repulse Bay this past week. - photo courtesy of Leonie Aissaoui

>Brighter Futures has funded the program for 14 years, while grants from the RCMP and the Breakfast for Learning program in the NWT picked up the slack the one year Brighter Futures couldn't support the endeavour.

The program is open to every student from 8:15 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Principal Leonie Aissaoui said students still help with the program every day, and step up to run it on the rare occasions when its one paid worker can't make it in.

"One morning I walked in to find all the young kids at the school putting peanut butter on bread and pouring out the juice," said Aissaoui with a laugh.

"It was wonderful to see kids so young helping out.

"Kids of all ages pitch in when they're needed."

Tusarvik has another proposal in to a different agency to relaunch its snack program.

If approved, the program will focus on students in kindergarten to Grade 3 and will provide healthy food choices such as various fruit.

Aissaoui said about 80 to 120 students show up for breakfast every morning.

She said three tables are utilized and the students are not allowed to sit while preparing their breakfast in order to ensure the line keeps moving and everyone gets a chance to eat.

"We try once a week to have a full menu of bacon, eggs and pancakes on top of the daily variety of toast, juice and cereal.

"The kids take a little longer to eat on the mornings we have the full breakfast.

"All our teachers take a turn helping out on mornings we have a complete menu."

Aissaoui said students perform better and are in higher spirits when they start their day with a healthy meal.

"My Grade 7 teacher told me, on the last day we had a full meal, that all her students were quiet in class and doing their work.

"It makes a big difference when they start their day with a healthy breakfast."

"We have some younger students who have to get themselves ready for school, and sometimes they don't make it in time for breakfast.

"When that happens we'll try to make time to let them eat before going to class because we're so happy they wanted to come to school enough to do it on their own."