Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Breakfast Club

The scene: Disgrace Towers.
The time: 7:15am

Rory: (from under his duvet in voice of disgruntled yet soon to be deceased gremlin): "MUMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE."

Me: "Oh, you're awake then.

Rory: (sounding much like furious snake that has been poked with a stick) "Urghhh. GAHHHH.  GO AWAY MUMMY."

Me: "Oh, I thought you called out for me."

*no answer*

Me: "Rory?"

Rory: (now in voice of vexed hell beast)"I AM A STONE. I AM NOT TALKING TO YOU BECAUSE I AM A STONE."

Me: "Oh, right. I'll be a stone too then."

Rory: Shhhhh Mummy. Stones can't talk."

Me: "OK."

Rory: "I am a stone who doesn't like you, mummy."

And so on until I finally manage to prise grump-o-stone out of bed and fill him full of Coco Pops and bananas.

As you can see, my son is deeply unpleasant before he's had breakfast.  He shouts at me, throws himself on the floor and goes limp so I can't pick him up and refuses to answer questions.  I know how he feels - I'm vile before I've had breakfast too.

Now just imagine you're a child who hasn't had any breakfast.  Imagine going to school and being asked to listen, sit still, take in information, contribute to discussion, fulfil tasks and behave impeccably on an empty stomach.  I couldn't do it and at 34 years old, I have better impulse control than a primary school age child (ahem, one hopes).

Sadly, there are many children in the UK who do go to school without having had breakfast.  Some are neglected, others are from families for whom money is so tight that they just can't afford it.  Others come from perfectly affluent and caring backgrounds, but their parents both work and it's difficult to fit breakfast into the short window if time between waking up and getting the whole family out to school and work.

When I was a teacher, I used to keep a bowl of apples and a packet of Digestives in my cupboard all the time for anybody in my class who came to school hungry (This may make me sound like the patron saint of teachers, but lets be honest - I ate far more of the biscuits myself than I gave away), but while that helps, it's not a long term solution.

Hurrah then for school breakfast clubs, and hurrah also for Kelloggs, who gave over 500 schools a £450 grant from a total funding pot of £23,000 to help fund their breakfast clubs.  Without this funding, many of these clubs run at such a loss that they can't afford to stay open, meaning no breakfast for vulnerable children, so it really is a wonderful and worthwhile initiative.

The campaign was so successful that it's coming back this year and this time there's even more money in the funding pot, so that's at least another 500 schools (and countless children) who are going to benefit from the Kelloggs breakfast club grant this year.  Brilliant news, I'm sure you'll all agree.

If you know of a school which has a breakfast club and would benefit from this grant, tell them to visit Kelloggs here to apply before applications close at the end of January 2013.

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1 comment:

  1. I love the breakfast club at my sons primary, especially when weeks get a little 'tight' and I know he's starting the day right x