Students helping students

  • Success Story

Sandy Schnick used to work with students who considered themselves outsiders, without much to offer. That all changed in September 2011, when Schnick, who does behavioural support work at John Ware School, got students involved in making lunches for Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids.

As her Mental Health program students got involved in making lunches for kids at a nearby elementary school, she saw a tremendous positive change. “Soon, I was no longer running the program,” Schnick says. “The kids took ownership of the initiative and have constantly pushed to make the lunches better and bigger.”

Empowering students

Students at the southwest Calgary junior high now prepare and deliver 12 large, nutritious lunches each week. “Seeing the faces of the children they were helping to feed empowered them to want to do more,” Schnick says. So they raised funds and collected donations, and the lunches grew in size. Each lunch now includes eight to 10 items, allowing for a full meal at lunch and extra food to take home.

The students act as ambassadors for the program, encouraging all their peers at John Ware to get involved. Through working with BB4CK, they’ve learned about budgets, nutrition, social awareness, personal responsibility and positive citizenship.

Self-sufficient program

Today, the program is entirely self-sufficient, student-owned and student-run, and students are encouraged to bring three new peers to the program each time they sign up. Every Christmas, John Ware students prepare a large turkey dinner from scratch for students at a high-needs junior high. This year, they treated 70 kids to a sit-down Christmas dinner.

The effect of the BB4CK program on the students, their community and Schnick’s former “outsiders” has been immeasurable. John Ware students are making a difference.

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