At our meeting on 23 August 2016 we hosted Graeme Cameron, Dennis Millard, Murray Willis and Ian Willetts from Auckland East Rotary together with Gary Hayes from the Rotary club of Epsom.

Graeme  assisted by Dennis Murray Ian and Gary spoke to us about the breakfast club which is an ongoing project for the provision of breakfasts to children attending decile one schools on the Auckland region. 
 
The project started at Randwick school in Manurewa which had low attendance rates and people being kept back from school because they had not had anything to eat for breakfast and for other reasons.

The program commenced in 2010 when breakfasts were provided to children twice a week. In 2011 the Breakfast Club expanded to 5 days a week and in 2013 Glen Innes School joined the program.

Auckland East and Epsom have combined to support the administration of the breakfast club.
 
The whole point about the program is breaking the poverty cycle. In decile one schools generally parents are low income, single parents with in many cases the spouse or partner prison with many immigrants or refugees and consequential language problems.
 
The effect on Randwick school for example is that the poverty cycle has been punched through and that there is now as a consequence of the daily breakfast being provided less truancy this bullying kids are working harder and achieving more.
Glen Innes school and now Point England and Panmure schools have seen the results from the breakfast club and are looking to participate.
Although breakfast foods are supplied by Sanitarium (breakfast cereals) and Fontera (milk) there is still backroom support required for the program. That is where Auckland East and Epsom fit that into the picture.
 
The breakfast club is evolving. In addition to breakfast there are now 4 elements which give children a pathway to a better future – the sports Academy – the life skills – garden to table – community engagement each of these elements engage with children with the assistance of in the case of the sports Academy high profile sports teams to engage and support enable bright kids to succeed and enable them to learn skills in the garden and converting what has been grown in the garden to food and hopefully teaching their parents those skills as well.
 
The breakfast club is showing positive outcomes for academic achievement improvements and self-esteem reductions in bullying and antisocial behaviour. In short children’s results overall are improving significantly.
 
The point of this is the breakfast club program is looking for ongoing funding for the next 3 years. To be successful it cannot simply be funded for a one-year period and then come to an end it needs to be an ongoing exercise. Epsom Rotary club and the Rotary club of St John’s are committed to funding the Pakuranga Rotary club is considering the issue. Graeme told us that they were looking for 5 clubs to commit $9000 for 3 years.
 
We were told that DG Roger Harvey is keen on the project and is looking at getting district backing for it.
 
The concluded with an energetic question-and-answer session which suggested the Newmarket members had been engaged by the tale of the Breakfast Club and wish to participate. 
 
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