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Our Breakfast for Learning Journey
The idea to provide our students with smoothies began with applying for the grant through Breakfast for Learning. Smoothies are a fun way to combine at least two food groups and help our students come closer to meeting their daily requirements for dairy and fruit and vegetables.
Once the word was out to staff and parents that we had received the BFL grant, ideas for how to further support the BFL smoothie program began. One of the teachers, known for her “Let’s Make a Deal” skills, phoned Vitamix Corporation in the U.S. and asked what kind of deal we could have for two blenders. The person on the other end of the phone said she would pass our story on to the education department. A few weeks later a call came and we were told that the CEO of Vitamix had authorized the donation of two refurbished blenders for smoothie making. He had relayed the message that he would rather see the money designated for equipment buy more fruit for the children.
The head of maintenance at Glen Eden Cemetery heard about the program from one of our foster parents and several huge boxes of cups arrived at the school. Bags of frozen fruit from an anonymous donor are delivered via a parent – all we know about this person is that he was once in foster care and wants to “give back.” Because of the generous donations, we are able to make smoothies three times a week instead of only twice a week.
The smoothies are made in our Family Centre by a small, but growing core of volunteer parents, often supported by our Home Learning Assistant. These volunteers have the proportions of fruit, yogurt and milk down to an art, as well as the method of delivery to classrooms. One parent, for the week after St. Patrick’s Day, created a very green smoothie loaded with spinach, fruit and dairy. Another parent bought aprons, ironed on a “smoothie” logo and printed a volunteer name on each one. Talk about team spirit!
From the first day, when we heard, “What is a smoothie?” most of our students look forward to their smoothie day. There have been thank you cards sent to the volunteers, thumbs up, smiles, and a sense of well-being when the body and the spirit is fed.