By John Keast
It is 8.15am and the children are washing their plates.
They have already had a good breakfast – including, now the cold has come, porridge – and they set the tables before eating.
The Netherby Whanau Breakfast Club at Netherby School now runs on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with an average of 45 children tucking into cereal, toast, porridge and a hot drink each day.
Co-organiser Angella Otene said the service was going from strength to strength, and teachers had said they could see the difference in the children.
“It’s the energy. They (the teachers) can pick up on those who have been (to breakfast) as they are full of beans and ready to go,” Mrs Otene said.
She said that the adult helpers now worked in shifts across the days.
Once the children have finished their meal, (some with double helpings of cereal), they move to the back of the school hall and draw with crayons. Some drawings may be selected for use as a welcome sign for the club.
Co-organiser Sarah Bartlett said some of the bigger children helped the younger children washing up and “we don’t have to ask them to do it now, they just get up and do it”.
Mrs Bartlett said some of the teachers had helped serve up the food and there had been a lot of positive feedback about the programme.
Parents had said it really took the pressure off them.
New members have joined the organising committee. The programme, with sponsors, began after Mrs Otene saw a programme at a school her brother’s children went to in Invercargill. To help with preparing the food, organisers would love to get hold of a Zip.