Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise signing an MOU continuing the support for it breakfast school programme.
PHILIPSBURG–Through partnership with the “Now You Know” radio programme hosted by Valerie van Putten, Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise is able to serve nutritious breakfasts to Prins Willem-Alexander School pupils.
The organisations made the announcement about the continued support on Thursday.
The purpose of the breakfast programme is not to replace parents’/guardians’ roles as providers, but to assist schools with promoting healthy nutritional habits and to increase the pupils’ academic performance.
As eating breakfast increases a child’s ability to learn, improves behaviour and decreases the risk of being overweight, Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise launched the breakfast programme in August 2012. More than 200 children attending four of the island’s public schools continue to benefit from a nutritious meal in the mornings to date.
The objective of this programme is to increase the probability of pupils eating a nutritious breakfast in the morning and, in turn, improve their learning. Now You Know radio programme partnered with Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise in 2015 and committed to contribute financially to the programme each academic year.
Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise President Valda Hazel said the programme is very essential for the pupils’ well-being. Very often children attend school without having a proper breakfast and this, in turn, can impact their academic performance.
“Some parents give their children whatever they want to eat and, as a result, find it difficult to ensure a variety of healthy meals, which leads to their children getting ‘bored’ with the same foods.
“In other cases, parents have difficulty in managing their finances. As the nutritious food groups are usually the most expensive, they sometimes are unable to manage their time to prepare nutritious, home-cooked meals, and therefore resort to the choice of purchasing convenient fast food, as was discovered by a local research,” Hazel said.
Van Putten of Now You Know said her aim has always been to give back to those in need, and even though it has been extremely difficult with sponsors and certain businesses going through a difficult time, she felt it just had to be done, especially now in this time when many families are still displaced on the island.
The children who receive the breakfast are selected by the school officials. The school has the responsibility of coordinating the distribution of breakfast to the pupils on daily basis.
Pupils collect their breakfast at the school cafeteria and the school will submit a monthly report, which will include the number of children who received breakfast, the number of days each child received breakfast, the menu for each day/week, pupils’ academic and behaviour progress, bottlenecks/challenges they experienced, and measures taken to overcome challenging situations.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) stipulating the commitment of executing and maintaining the Breakfast Programme was signed recently by representatives of all parties involved.