Eleven Red Deer schools will benefit from a generous community donation of $17,500 from Build a Kid to Cure/Golf a Kid to Cure, a local non-profit agency.
The money will be used to supplement and improve breakfast and snack programs throughout the district. Administration and staff at the schools in the Red Deer Public School District communicate amongst each other and with the board to generate funds for these programs year-round.
“There absolutely are needs that are out there. Schools are raising money on their own to be able to do these programs, or seeking help. The reality is that in the past, a lot of teachers were dipping into their own purses and pockets to do this. The fact that the community has come forward is really, really valuable. We’re really able to make a difference,” said Bruce Buruma, director of community relations for the Red Deer Public School District.
“I think we start to see some of the signs that our economy faces. Families have some tough choices that they need to make, and often times that first priority is making sure their kids have food and snacks but there are some kids who are going without.
“Every parent is trying to do the very, very best that they can. They all want their kids to have these things, but sometimes that’s just not the case,” he continued.
Build a Kid to Cure/Golf a Kid to Cure is a non-profit agency that works with home builders and agencies to build homes at a low cost, sell the home and then donate the profit towards local community projects that better the lives of children.
Chairmen of the Golf A Kid to Cure board David Wild was present at Normandeau School, where a cheque was presented to the district last week. He said that helping kids is at the heart of the organization and that they were pleased to be able to contribute to the Red Deer Public School District.
“All of our funds go to help the children of Central Alberta. (Breakfast for Learning) is a program that nationally our company has supported,” he said. “The stats show that kids who get a good, solid breakfast are going to perform well, they’re going to learn more and they’re going to get into less trouble. You put it all together and it’s a win-win situation for everyone. Everything we do feels good because we’re giving back to a community that needs help,” Wild said.
He added, “The schools are where our children are starting and learning, and it’ll make it better for all of us down the road if they’re learning the right things and are able to really retain what they’re learning.”
Human brains require glucose to be able to perform. When children skip breakfast, their bodies have a hard time generating the fuel they need to retain information learned in school. The breakfast programs throughout Red Deer serve hundreds of children.
Snack and lunch programs are also an integral part of the Red Deer Public School District.
Buruma said in addition to the breakfast program generated through community and private donations, organizations such as Loaves and Fishes and The Salvation Army also contribute to the schools’ feeding programs with lunches and weekend meals.
“We also have over 200 lunches some days that are delivered by Loaves and Fishes. We phone them up and say, ‘This student needs a lunch tomorrow, can you bring it in?’ It comes in with that student’s name on it, they come pick it up and then they get to eat with all of the other kids. Those are the kinds of things that they do for us, and they’re very responsive,” he said.
“The Salvation Army fills backpacks with nutritional food and sends them home with the students to tide them over for the weekend. They may get breakfast, lunch and snacks through the week but what happens on the weekend?”
Programs such as these are made possible by community donations and are often additional costs not achievable within a school’s budget.