It is with much excitement this September that we welcome back our popular Kinder class of four-year-olds to COVID-safe classrooms! In Batey Libertad, most parents work informal, unskilled jobs, and many families are unable to provide nutritious, healthy meals for their children every day. It is well-documented that nutritious food is vital for healthy childhood development, and nothing compares to a warm, home-cooked meal. This year, our students will receive healthy food, prepared with love!
Some days, students arrive at our classrooms without breakfast, and unsure of when they will eat their next meal. Before COVID-19, Yspaniola's Food Program provided students with a nutritious, home-made snack each day before class, and we aim to return to that in future. Although we can't yet provide a healthy snack before class due to COVID-19, we will provide all of our Kinder students with a healthy, nutritionist-approved snack in a lunchbox that they can take home after every class.
Yspaniola's Food Program aims to both curb food insecurity for our preschoolers and also incentivize daily attendance at our classes. Providing a daily snack is valuable for our students and their parents alike. With the funds raised in the campaign we will: (1) Gift each student a lunchbox with child-safe cutlery, (2) Prepare a daily homemade meal for each student, (3) Provide a flask of purified water to take home and (4) Support students' academic development and nutritional intake.
This project will ensure that the youngest learners in the Batey get the best possible start to their first school year. According to the World Food Program, food initiatives have been proven to improve access to education since they encourage families to keep children in school, which in turn boosts learning, specifically literacy acquisition (WFP 2020). By providing students with a daily lunchbox, we will help them to retain information and progress faster during the coming year.