Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 17/06/2013. Tags: Parenting Teacher News
The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., attended at St Catherine’s Infant National School, in Cabra today, to launch a Breakfast Club Pilot Programme which has been developed by Healthy Food for All and funded by the Kellogg Corporate Citizenship Fund.
The Pilot Programme which started in January in four Dublin Schools – St Catherine’s Junior National School Cabra, St Eithne’s Girls School, Edenmore, Holy Trinity National School Donaghmede and Holywell Educate Together, Swords - aims to measure the impact a breakfast club will have on the social and academic environment in these schools.
Worryingly, 13% of schoolchildren in Ireland report that they never eat breakfast on weekdays with a marked increase seen in those from lower socio-economic groups, girls and older children. Initial feedback from teachers suggests that children who attend breakfast clubs are highly attentive and are better prepared for the school day.
Commenting on the initiative, Sinéad Keenan, Project Co-ordinator, Healthy Food for All said: “The purpose of the Pilot Programme is to promote a positive start to school days. Breakfast clubs are excellent initiatives both from a nutritional and a social point of view. The lessons learned from this programme will be extracted to build the evidence for breakfast clubs in Ireland. HFfA will evaluate the outputs from this programme to demonstrate how clubs can be set up in both DEIS and non-DEIS schools.”
Managing Director, Kellogg Company of Ireland, Jim McNeill added: “Kellogg’s has a strong track record in supporting families and communities in Ireland. Through our ‘Breakfast for Better Days’ initiative, we are supporting food banks and breakfast clubs in Ireland and globally to ensure more people get a great start to their day.”
Many breakfast clubs operating in schools and community settings are funded through the School Meals Programme which is a vital resource for schools addressing food poverty among school-children. The schools involved in the current Pilot Programme were awarded grants of €5,000 to set up and run a breakfast club over a period of eighteen months. Healthy Food for All has also provided the schools with training and logistic support during the period.