Children’s Breakfast Club named for Centennial President
The Children’s Breakfast Clubs has honoured Centennial College President Ann Buller by naming a Breakfast Club at a Scarborough public school after her, in recognition of Ann’s active support for the volunteer-based organization that serves hot breakfasts to children in communities across southern Ontario.
Rick Gosling, president of The Breakfast Clubs, presented Ann with a plaque at Taylor Creek Public School on May 11, attended by senior public school students and the college’s Bolt the Colt mascot. Centennial College has a long history with the school – previously known as the Warden Avenue Jr. Public School – located adjacent to Centennial's former Warden Woods Campus.
Ann was on hand at 8 am to serve breakfast to about 40 children who regularly come to school early to eat a good meal before class. The breakfast club at Taylor Creek has been in operation for four years. The free breakfast program offers a nutritious start to the day to address hunger and improve lesson retention, as well as provide a safe and caring environment where children feel supported.
“The benefits of a good breakfast weren’t widely known when we started serving breakfasts in schools, but the impact in terms of better learning, attention spans and behaviours is undisputed today,” said Rick Gosling. “Ann joins a pretty elite group of people who have clubs named after them, including hockey legend Johnny Bower, broadcaster and Centennial alum Jennifer Valentyne and former mayor Mel Lastman.”
“Your school is doing so many great things – mental health awareness, environmental sustainability, planting for the butterflies and the bees – it’s just like our college,” Ann Buller told the assembled boys and girls. “I just want you to know that you’re amazing, and your principal is amazing, too!”
In consultation with community residents and the Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority, the first Children’s Breakfast Club was established in the Jane/Falstaff neighbourhood in 1984. Today, the Children’s Breakfast Clubs operate programs in more than 20 communities. The clubs rely entirely on private donations and volunteer help in collaboration with a number of community partners, including local residents, agencies, schools and organizations, including Centennial College since 2002.
Centennial’s Hospitality students have been instrumental in assisting with the clubs’ big holiday breakfasts and luncheons, including the Holiday Tree Festival that sees our students decorate themed trees on behalf of sponsor organizations. Centennial students also help serve hundreds of breakfasts at the annual Caring and Sharing Luncheon at the Liberty Grand in downtown Toronto.