Rotary, school district team up to help feed kids
As expected, the Kamloops-Thompson board of education approved a recommendation this week that will move a hungry-child initiative a step closer to implementation.
The Rotary Club of Kamloops pitched the initiative to the school district in December.
This week, the board adopted a recommendation from Karl deBruijn, assistant superintendent of education, that family dinners be scheduled for Feb. 13 and Feb. 27, March 13 and March 27 and April 10 and April 24.
The dinners will be served in the NorKam secondary cafeteria at 7 p.m.
Trustee Cara McKelvey questioned the timing, noting families often need to feed their children before 7 p.m.
Rotary president Christopher Seguin said the challenge is to give volunteers enough time to get to the school after work, but he’s hoping they can start serving dinner by 5:30 p.m.
Seguin said there will be board games and other activities available for families to take part in after eating.
In response to questions about how the meals would be characterized and advertised, Seguin said they will be promoted as family meals that anyone can attend — although the motivation for creating them is to ensure hungry children get fed.
Rotary is hoping to see 30 to 50 families take part and anticipates the program will grow from there.
The school district will provide the venue for free and the service club will provide the food, volunteers to prepare and serve the meals and cleanup.
NorKam chef Scott Roberts has offered to help with the first meal to familiarize volunteers with procedures.
The report from deBruijn recommended a second phase of the initiative that would see the school district work with the Kamloops Food Bank, Rotaract and other organizations to create a model that will enable schools to supply, store and distribute healthy breakfasts to needy children.
Distribution would involve confidentiality for the students.
The Rotarians are looking for four schools to work with to develop and pilot a model program.
SULLIVAN HEADS B.C. ASSOCIATION
Terry Sullivan has been elected president of the British Columbia School Superintendents Association.
The organization represents school superintendents — Sullivan holds that position in the Kamloops-Thompson School District — as well as assistant superintendents, directors of instruction and other senior executives in the province’s 60 school districts.
The association focuses on professional development, creating programs to address issues in education and new technologies.