An essay written by Karen Bradwell, Chilliwack Central Elementary Parent Committee President, about the importance and impact of the Breakfast for Literacy program.  She wrote the essay at the request of our Youth Opportunity Chair, Paul Donaldson.

You would expect to hear many sounds when you enter any classroom. Back to

school sounds. The scraping of chairs, friends seeing each other for the

first time since summer began and the nervous laughter of new beginnings.

One particular sound you don ' t always expect to hear is the cry of hunger.

It is an unfortunate circumstance that is heard all too often in our schools

today. Yet one would think, that in today ' s revolving world, hunger only

happens in third world countries.


Approximately, ten years ago a cry of hunger was heard at Central Elementary

Community School in Chilliwack, B.C. A concerned parent was taken back by

the need for such an everyday staple that we all take for granted,

breakfast. This parent approached the administration of the school, voiced

her concern while recognizing a need. The principal whole heartedly agreed

with her and together they humbly approached the Chilliwack Rotary Club and

asked for help on behalf of the children at Central Elementary School.

Needless to say, the Breakfast Program was born and still thrives to this



Since this program began, the school has benefited in so many ways. First

and foremost, the children in need can go to school and receive a

nutritional breakfast. They can continue to class able to sit and

concentrate on their studies rather than worry about the rumbling in their

stomachs. This program also relieves the burden to the parents who may not

have food that morning or possibly the next. Knowing there is help at your

own child ' s school does ease the stress of where to find the next meal. The

school ' s teachers and administration also benefit from this wonderful

program. A child who comes to class hungry is unable to concentrate on their

schoolwork. They can also be disruptive and not realize why.


Let ' s not forget those who volunteer at the program. Parents who volunteer

at the program on a weekly basis have the pleasure to serve and meet those

students. The feeling one gets from helping others is beyond words. Do we

need to say more? Of course the list is endless. Without the Chilliwack

Rotary Club ' s assistance for the past 10 years many students would attend

school and not be able to function to their fullest potential on an empty



Unfortunately, hunger has no boundaries. It has become more prevalent than

ever before in today ' s society. Yet, we have caring individuals who stand up

and state that they can help make a difference. All it takes is a helping

hand and the willingness to do so. The Chilliwack Rotary Club does just

that. One simple gesture, an open hand saying "let us help you put food in a

child ' s body", and a smile upon their face.


Chilliwack Rotary Club is the essence of community while always willing to

lend a helping hand. They recognize a need in their own community and act

upon it. They give us a vote of confidence to know that there still is

kindness in the world as well as people willing to extend the olive branch

of hope.