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The local community took up their paintbrushes and hammers last weekend and pitched in to help create a brand new Breakfast Club space for students at Royal Oak Intermediate.
The decile four school was providing breakfast for between 15 and 20 students every day as part of the Kickstart Breakfast programme, but the constraints of sharing the same space as the Food Technology room meant this had to be put on hold last year.
Plans for the relocation of the school canteen, however, created an opportunity to build a dedicated Breakfast Club area within the same building. A number of building alterations are needed to make it fit for purpose, as well as landscaping work, covered pathways for access during winter and new furniture.
This is where support and financial assistance from community organisations is helping to make Royal Oak Intermediate’s new Breakfast Club a reality.
The local Onehunga branch of Instant Finance is helping out to the tune of $2,000 which will be used to buy paint, as well as a new fridge, furniture, crockery and utensils for the Breakfast Club.
Branch manager at Instant Finance, James Sepuloni, is one of those who pitched in to help over the weekend. “Our business is all about helping Kiwis get ahead. These kids deserve to have the best learning opportunities every day and having a good breakfast to start the day is essential. We’re delighted to be able to help out with the new Breakfast Club.”
Meanwhile, hundreds of volunteers from the Mount Roskill Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints Stake also turned up at the school to transform the building site into the Breakfast Club. The fun, family approach to the mass working bee meant that the sound of hammers was only equalled by the laughter of children on the bouncy castle, with volunteers providing morning tea and lunch for the voluntary workers.
“This Helping Hands Day is our Church’s way of supporting the wider community and fits in with the character of our Christian beliefs”, stated Anthony Wilson, the President of the Mt Roskill Stake.
Royal Oak Intermediate’s Principal, Derek Linington, has been blown away by the support the school has received. “This is absolutely fantastic for our school and our students. As a low decile school, we have quite a few students who arrive without breakfast. The first half of the day is the best time for learning and if we can provide them with breakfast, we know they will benefit.”
Frankie Schaumkel has been running the Breakfast Club at Royal Oak Intermediate for the last six years. Working as a teacher aide at the school, he gets to personally see the benefits that the students receive by eating a healthy breakfast.
Frankie’s role includes pastoral care of students and he says that “having a dedicated sole purpose Breakfast Club Room will give the students a sense of pride and assist him in getting to know these children and their needs.”