Breakfast club keeps students fed and focused


Weetbix, toast, yogurt and fruit are some of the tasty items that feature on the ever-expanding menu at Nayland College’s Breakfast Club.

The club runs on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday before school in the library. The goal is to provide an opportunity for students to enjoy breakfast, for whoever needs it and for any reason. There are also snacks like apples and muesli bars that students can take for morning tea and/or lunch.

Students have been able to enjoy eating at the Club since it began many years ago with the help of Ms. Banke (who continues to coordinate it) and a now retired teacher. They both noticed that students were lacking focus in class because of hunger and they were struggling to learn.

To combat this, they founded the Breakfast Club, with the help of the Kickstart Breakfast Programme. The organisation were able to donate food like Weetbix and milk, which meant there was little cost involved in setting up the Club.

“I’m just hoping that all students know that the option is there and that they feel comfortable coming there as a first or a second breakfast and everyone sees it as an option for them,” Ms. Banke said.

Parent volunteers have assisted in running the Club since its inception, making them feel more welcome as parent involvement is usually less than that at primary and intermediate schools. Former and current teachers at the school have also lent a helping hand.

Karuna is a parent volunteer who began helping to run the Club when her son joined Nayland at the start of the year. She enjoys contributing to the school and being involved, as well as encouraging healthy eating habits amongst students. “It’s very inclusive for everyone; just whoever wants to have breakfast.”

One student frequents the Club as most days she is in a rush to get to school. “They’ll just give me yogurt with some fruit in it and that’s what I enjoy when I come here.”

Some of the delicious food available at the breakfast club — Image by: Duncan McKinlay

The basketball team also eats breakfast at the Club after their early trainings on Friday mornings before school begins.

Ms. Banke and Karuna both hope that more students feel comfortable to drop by the Club and eat some breakfast so they get the right start to their day and have the best learning experience.

The Club is also looking for another volunteer or two so they can be open on Thursdays. School starts late that day, meaning more time for breakfast.

Toast has been popular at the Club of late, so toast bread donations are appreciated and will be frozen for later use. These can be dropped at the reception by the hall at the front of the school.

By Student Journalist Aleisha Smith