Students at Lester B. Pearson School who require a nutritious breakfast, lunch, or snack to help them remain in engaged in learning will have more options thanks to a $10,000 grant through the Mosaic School Nutrition Challenge.
"The Mosaic award will provide us the necessary funds to renovate the kitchen space, which is the first step for our school in updating our programs," said Principal Shane Bradley. "Without this renovation and addition of appliances, we are unable to provide the necessary space and tools for staff and students to learn and provide food for those who need it."
"We appreciate the commitment of Mosaic and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association in supporting students and our school's nutrition programs."
Lester B. Pearson is one of 10 Saskatchewan schools that will receive funding to support innovative and inclusive ways of implementing nutrition education and programming that has a lasting impact on students and the school.
The school offers nutrition programs from two kitchen areas. A program organized and implemented by a staff member provides snacks to supplement student lunches as many come to school with lunches that lack nutrition. A second program provides breakfast and lunch for students in a behaviour support program.
"As many students come with small lunches, students do not receive the proper nutrition at lunch and are left with no snack for the afternoon," said Mike Crowe, the school's wellness committee leader. "By the end of the day, most students are low energy, which can be largely attributed to their lack of nutrition in the afternoon. Increasing the functionality of our kitchens means we would be able to have different groups of students prepare an afternoon snack for all of the students in the school, providing them with the nutrition they need to get through the day."
The funds will be used to purchase additional appliances to improve functionality of the kitchens and food storage areas. In turn, this will allow the school to offer more variety in daily lunches and support the goal of having monthly lunches for all students and staff. To complement those school-wide lunches, the wellness team will help implement nutrition learning for students.
The kitchens will also be available for practical and applied arts learning where students will learn about the proper use of kitchen tools and appliances in an age-appropriate manner through the preparation of healthy meals (older students) and snacks (older and younger students).
"All students at Lester B. Pearson will be impacted by this program," said Heather Gowanlock, an educational assistant and nutrition worker. "They will be receiving a healthy and nutritious snack every day. Students who come to school without breakfast or lunch will benefit from having a more complete breakfast and lunch provided to them. Students in grades 6-8 will be able to learn and practice cooking during PAA classes."