Since 2012, Brant Food For Thought has offered placement opportunities to Laurier Brantford students. Community Service-Learning (CSL) provides students with the opportunity to integrate in-class learning with a placement at a community organization, and gives them a chance to reflect on that learning. The goal is for both students and community organizations to benefit from the partnership.
The Fall of 2016 saw 10 Laurier students placed in Student Nutrition Programs. Adrianna, a second year student in the Youth and Children’s studies program with a goal of becoming a Child Psychologist, joined the nutrition team at Notre Dame School and will continue there for the second semester. Adrianna has gone above and beyond expectations and enjoys interacting with the students, especially the kindergarten classes. On her own time, she made two changeable menu boards so the youngest students can visualize what is being offered that day. Adrianna’s enthusiasm shines through in her placement comments. “Today was a great day; we handed out milk, oranges, granola bars for our breakfast program. We had extra time in the end so we prepared bags of trail mix for the kids. Awesome day!”
Joyce Dinsmore, Educational Assistant and student nutrition program coordinator at Notre Dame School, has mentored Adrianna and ensured she has a quality placement. “She is friendly, eager, and very positive. She chops, packs bags and her favourite job–deliver to the kindergarteners. A girl after my own heart. We will miss her and the end of her placement.”
Tricia, a fifth year student, enjoyed a placement at Graham Bell-Victoria School. Tricia has a unique connection to the school. Principal John Poulimenos explains, “I had the pleasure of teaching Trish while she was in grade 8. She was a dedicated student who shared her knowledge and skills throughout the classroom and school. Now, many years later, Graham Bell-Victoria Public School was fortunate to have Trish volunteer with the Student Nutrition Program. She did an excellent job preparing the food and organizing the snack bins for the kids/school. The time and effort Trish put into the program was second to none and her reliability was outstanding.”
Laurier also has “LEAF” students: Laurier English and Academic Foundation, international students who are learning Canadian culture while developing and sharpening their communication skills through practice. LEAF students are generally placed with a program coordinator who encourages communication in English. King George School welcomed students Vincent and Beal while Central Public School welcomed Gaia and Bubble. These 4 students were invaluable to the two schools all while learning about Canadian traditions and foods.
In addition to the LEAF students, Laurier Brantford introduced a new volunteer opportunity involving senior Laurier students mentoring LEAF students in a public setting. Gwen and Julianne mentored Ubah while volunteering at Prince Charles School, as well as taking on a couple of shifts at our holiday gift wrap booth at the Lynden Park Mall last December.
Thank you to all of our Laurier Brantford students. Your contribution to student nutrition programs is invaluable and has made a difference for children and youth in our school communities!