December 22, 2010

Xmas pancakes for William Whyte students

There were lots of happy faces and sticky fingers at the William Whyte Community School pancake breakfast this week.

Students in the Nursery-to-Grade 8 school were served pancakes and sausages by the members of the Winnipeg Health Region's Senior Management Team. The kids munched their breakfast in four sittings, keeping the Region's team on the hop like Santa's elves.

The school is very happy to be sponsored by the Winnipeg Health Region, which provides volunteers and funding directed to the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council to support special school activities, healthy snacks and food.

Further Reading
William White Community School website
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"It's great to see the children smiling. Some of them like the sausages and some of them like the pancakes better," said principal Debbie Beach-Ducharme, as she watched the students and staff eating. "We're very happy to have the (Region) volunteer for events like this."

The students' holiday concert had been taped, and this was projected onto one wall in the gym, keeping the kids laughing as they recognized themselves on stage. The elementary kids ate breakfast in a whirl of chatter, while the junior high students were quieter.

"The pancake breakfast at William Whyte was one of the highlights of my holiday season and I plan to add it to my seasonal traditions in the future," said Lori Lamont, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer with the Region.

"It was great to see kids have the joy of coming together for Christmas. Volunteering for this kind of activity really gets us connected with our local community," said Real Cloutier, Region COO and chief sausage server. "On a more comical note, I was a bit nervous walking by the principal's office. It speaks to an earlier part of my life!"

Along with the Senior Management Team's volunteering at the pancake breakfast, the Region sends volunteers to the school on a regular basis.

Terri Kolody, Region volunteer co-ordinator for the William Whyte School, says the partnership is working out well. "The school has been very warm and welcoming to us. The principal, Debbie Beach-Ducharme, has said she is very pleased with how things are going and is happy to see how many people are coming forward to volunteer on a regular basis as well as a one-time basis."

In addition to the Dec. 20 pancake breakfast, the Region has:

  • Two regular volunteers attending alternate Tuesdays for the Breakfast Program, and one regular volunteer once a month on Thursdays.

  • Two regular volunteers for the Running & Reading after school program on alternate Thursdays.

  • One volunteer helps sew dance costumes for the students participating in a number of dance programs

  • Two volunteers attended the White Elephant sale held Dec 17

  • Five volunteers served a Turkey Lunch for the entire school on Dec. 21.

William Whyte is located at the corner of Manitoba and Powers streets in the Point Douglas neighbourhood. There are 275 students in the school with 90 per cent being of aboriginal descent, and much of the other 10 per cent made up of recent immigrants to Canada, from countries such as Philippines and Pakistan.

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