EATING WELL TO LEARN WELL

Kids Making Food

Welcome to Clavet, Saskatchewan.  Population 386.

It may be small but it is mighty.  Every day the village triples in size when over 650 students are bussed in from surrounding centres. 

“The bus rides are very long,” said Violet Dilsner, an educational assistant at Clavet School, “After sitting on the bus for an hour they’re hungry.”

“We used to have a pop machine that was sold out all the time,” said Carolyn Hoppe, Clavet’s Public Health Nurse. 

The school needed a healthy way to fuel young minds for a day of learning.  The answer: the Clavet Kids in the Kitchen program. Grade 5 students are taught healthy recipes, safe food handling skills and prepare food for the school’s breakfast program.

“Now, the pop machine is gone and we have smoothies that we sell,” Hoppe added, they don’t have to convince the kids to enjoy healthier choices, “that’s what they want.”

Dilsner explained the experience has also led to children enjoying new found flavours.

“Some of the kids say, ‘I’ve never tried broccoli before and actually, it’s pretty good!’”

The school was able to expand the program after winning $10,000 in the 2014 CST Learning Project.  The committee also purchased a brand new stainless steel refrigerator to properly store fresh food. 

“That will last this school a lifetime,” said Dilsner. “Now we’re able to serve the kids in the morning, all kinds of healthy snacks…go get some food before class and be ready to learn.”

Students are also sharing their new skills and healthy food knowledge by volunteering with the breakfast program and acting as peer leaders for younger students.

Educators are noticing a difference in more ways than one. 

“I had a grade 12 student come and give me a hug and tell me that we made a total difference in his life at school,” said Dilsner.  “He gets here early in the morning for extra-curricular activities.  He doesn’t have time for breakfast but because of the program that we’ve been working on, he can now eat and he’s ready for class when school starts.”

With students living so far away from the school, the distance often makes it difficult to engage families in volunteering.  This has changed in the past year.

“The Kids in the Kitchen piece not only helps to get that message out to families and make connections between home and school,” said Brian Matisz Clavet School’s principal, “it helps us sustain a lot of the programming that we have and getting those kids excited about volunteering and helping out.”

Matisz added, rallying everyone together behind the CST Learning Project led to an unforgettable moment for all involved. 

“It was very much a unifying force for our school, our staff and our community,” explained Matisz.

Clavet Fridge

ClavetKids

Clavet Kids Eating

EATING WELL TO LEARN WELL | CST Blog | C.S.T. Consultants Inc.

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