Turkey 3 Turkey 4 Turkey 5 Turkey 2

December 16, 2016 marked the eighth anniversary of a really great tradition of caring and community at Ballenas Secondary School. Over 750 students were treated to an amazing turkey lunch with all of the trimmings paid for, prepared and served by the staff of the school supported by Foods students, District staff and community members.

The event had its genesis when newly hired Foods teacher Monica Bradbury and long time Child and Youth Care Worker Janice McMillan brainstormed ways to build community and address the issue of hungry kids at school. During the eight years that this initiative has been in place, over 4000 students will have headed into the holiday break knowing that they are part of something bigger – a circle of caring.

Research tells us that students who cannot identify a meaningful connection to at least one adult at school struggle to engage with their learning and are far more likely not to complete their educational program. Working alongside a teacher to serve meals, or sitting and chatting over lunch with an education assistant is a start to building those  relationships that sustain connections to learning.

In closing, the ripples of community building often extend out well beyond where we would have anticipated. in this case, the extra food from the luncheon has gone out to the Manna Ministry Homeless Society who will ensure that others beyond the reach of the school will enjoy a holiday meal as well.

Nicely done Whalers!

Rollie Koop – Superintendent of Schools