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Back To School, Back To Red Cross Breakfast

NEWS RELEASE

4 February 2008

Back To School, Back To Red Cross Breakfast

As children return to school this week, New Zealand Red Cross will be making sure 400 of them are getting the opportunity to start their learning day with a healthy Red Cross breakfast.

As the 2008 school year kicks off, there are 18 primary schools across the country taking part in the Red Cross Breakfast in Schools programme, with a further eight due to start later this month.

The national programme was launched in May last year and is available to all decile one primary schools in New Zealand. Supported by Countdown supermarkets the programme is designed to give children a healthy start to the day.

“As the school year starts, we know there will be kids arriving hungry to their first classes. Together with Countdown supermarkets, we’re pleased that we can help some of those most in need get a healthy nutritious start to their day,” says Red Cross Breakfast in Schools national programme manager Patrick Cummings.

In the nine months the programme has been running Mr Cummings says there have been tenable results.

“Participating schools are reporting back that children taking part in the programme are showing better concentration levels and are easier to settle in class. Results like this can only be positive in helping children achieve their learning potential,” says Mr Cummings.

Schools participating in the Red Cross Breakfast in Schools programme stretch from Whangarei in the north down to Nightcaps in Southland. Of the new schools due to start later this month, three are in South Auckland, two are in Whangarei, and there is one each in Waikato, Wellington and Dunedin.

In supporting the programme, Countdown supermarkets provide the breakfast food which includes cereal, toast and a hot drink, at no charge to the schools. New Zealand Red Cross is responsible for the administration of the programme and assists with recruiting and training volunteers.

Mr Cummings says volunteers play a vital role in the programme as they are responsible for preparing and serving breakfast in each school.

Since the launch of the programme over 100 volunteers have registered to help but Mr Cummings says every time a new school adopts the programme a new team of dedicated volunteers is required.

“Our volunteers are vitally important to the success of the Red Cross Breakfast in Schools programme. It couldn’t happen without them”

Ends

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