Bells will be ringing this Tuesday signaling the start of a brand new school year here on the Sunshine Coast.
Hundreds of students will be heading back to class at the elementary and secondary school levels eager to learn — well, most of them anyway. We’re sure there are a few students out there who would rather be at the beach or at the park playing with their friends, sad that another summer holiday has come and gone way too quickly.
Administrators and teachers also seem eager to welcome students back to school. School District No. 46 superintendent Patrick Bocking was certainly enthusiastic when talking about the district’s back to school plans with us this week. Just count the many times in the story he said exciting or excited. He certainly loves his job and loves the students in this district. That for sure is evident in his enthusiasm for the new school year.
A new school year always brings with it some changes — there are a few new administrators, some new teachers, some new students. SD46 maintenance staff have been working hard the past few weeks to ensure that the schools are spotless when students arrive Tuesday morning.
The district has some lofty goals this year. At the elementary school level, there will be a major focus on reading, while at the secondary school level, one of the major focal points is making sure that all students graduate. We’re certainly on board with both these initiatives and the other programs the district will be rolling out in the coming months.
There is another program, the Breakfast for Kids program, that we also want to highlight. The program is a success story in this community, and thanks to the generosity of many businesses and community citizens after Coast Reporter made a major pitch in May 2012, the program was able to sustain itself for the 2012 school year.
But funding is starting to dry up and the program is in need again to continue for the full school year.
If you are not familiar with the program, Breakfast for Kids is offered throughout SD46 and sees fresh food prepared by volunteers daily. The food is then offered to any student who might be hungry, often casually, on a tray placed in the hallway for kids to pick at as they walk by.
Research has shown that children who arrive to school on an empty stomach are not prepared to learn. No child should arrive to school hungry — everyone should have the opportunity to have a meal, which is why this program is so vitally important.
So we are asking the community to once again step up to the plate and ensure that there is enough food for the whole year.
Let’s all work together to make this a fantastic school year for all our young minds. They are our future.