We’ve Hit the Jackpot in the Breakfast Club Department!

By Tawnya Hallman

I happened to walk into the Breakfast Club room one morning, a few minutes after students had cleared out and I was amazed by what I saw. The leftover food looked gourmet and delicious. Susana Couto, the Breakfast Club cook, was busy carefully wrapping up leftover fruit. “I never waste anything,” she said. Leftover fruit goes into a smoothie later in the week.

I asked her about the food she serves. She listed a whole slew of things including celery with cream cheese and raisins, a variety of fruit, yogurt, egg and cheese on toasted English muffins, whole-wheat pancakes, seaweed, tuna, cereal, milk, roast potatoes and soups. She also makes hummus, which she spreads on rice cakes, whole-wheat tortillas and bagels. She makes applesauce with cinnamon and oats, which she puts on toasted whole-wheat bread topped with a few thinly sliced apples “to hide the oats!” she said. The Ontario Egg Farmer’s Association donated coupons for about 60 dozen eggs this year so lots of protein rich egg-based food will be on the menu this year.

Wait a minute! She makes the hummus and applesauce? Yep. She makes it from scratch, in the breakfast club kitchen. Not only that, but she makes it after her shift is over. She’s paid for two hours, but she volunteers another 1 to 1 ½ hours more to prep food for the next day. She said she simply couldn’t offer the foods she wants to if she didn’t volunteer her time.

food collage

The point is that she wants to serve food that’s not just quick and easy, but that’s adventurous, homemade and nutritious. It’s that she gets so much joy out of getting students to try new food. It’s that she loves to cook and loves serving the students. Presentation is just as important to her as the food she serves. She also believes in engaging the students in a conversation about food by encouraging them to try things, even if they don’t think they’ll like them. She talks about nutrition and the importance of eating breakfast so their brains are fuelled for the morning. People, we’ve hit the jackpot with Susana!

Susana is originally from Portugal, and in her very early twenties, she married a chef from the army. “Before that, I was a picky eater” she said. Her husband introduced her to cooking and lots of different foods. Once she became a mother of 3, she became really good at preparing kid-friendly food. She’s held all sorts of jobs: a nurse’s assistant helping deliver babies, a food truck cook, an education assistant (she used to work at Roden as an EA for about 5 years) and childcare provider to name a few. She also crochets (check out her Etsy shop at Crochet By Susana), bakes big trays of cookies to sell in December (visit her in the Breakfast Club if you want to place an order!), she’s a lunch monitor at our school and a dedicated mother of 3 and grandmother of 2!

Our school is so incredibly lucky to have such a dedicated and creative person running our Breakfast Club. If you haven’t ever dropped in, please make a point to and see Susana in action. It’s located on the east side of the school (Ashdale Ave side), down the hall from the main office. It’s open Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 8:55 AM and all students are welcome to attend.

Currently Susana is getting between 50 – 60 students each morning. She knows because she counts plates. She’s asked me to spread the word about a few things she needs to outfit the Breakfast Club, as the funding from the Toronto Foundation for Student Success only goes so far.

Breakfast Club Wish List
Side plates
2 really good blenders (to make smoothies)
Packaged food like cereal (low sugar) and rice cakes (plain)
Fruit (fresh or frozen) or vegetables (potatoes, carrots)

Donations can be dropped off to the Breakfast Club room any day!

One thing Susana has always wanted to do is run cooking classes for parents. I loved the idea and so, we’re working together to create with a lesson that will teach parents some great tips for preparing kid-friendly food that can be prepared ahead of time to make weeknights easier to get through! Watch for more details in early 2016.

Air Quality at School

An Air Quality and Carpet Removal Committee has been formed with a few Equinox and Roden parents. Their goal is to improve air quality through a variety of means including having old carpet removed from our building. If you are interested in getting involved too or if you have ideas or resources to share, please e-mail chair@roden.ca.

Get Involved at Roden!

Roden Council is looking for parent volunteers! Volunteering is a great way to enrich the school life of your child and provide you with an opportunity to meet the other parents.
Volunteering can be as little as an hour commitment and as time-consuming as you’d like – it’s totally up to you!
We are currently looking for people to help with the following jobs:
• Baking
• Selling food/tickets at movie night
• Postering flyers around school
• Photocopying/Data entry
• Finding sponsors for events
• Fun Fair games
• Photographer for various events
• Graphic Design help
• Set up/Clean up at events

If you have any special skills and/or talents that you would like to put to good use – let us know, so we can call on you!
If you are interested in helping to better the Roden community, please email getinvolved@roden.ca with your name, contact email address and provide any specific volunteer interest. Volunteers will be emailed when specific jobs are needed.

In addition, parent representatives are needed by the School for the following:
Safe school
School Improvement
Please contact Mr. Lasso, our principal, directly for information on the above four volunteer positions.

Your help is very much needed and appreciated!

It’s Your Turn

Fun Fair 4

Since 2014, Roden School Council has run a year-end Fun Fair. Each year has been tremendously successful having raised over $12,000 for our kids and creating an enormous amount of fun and school spirit.
The fairs haven’t been easy to pull off though. In previous years, we’ve relied on the considerable efforts of a small group parents, which has proven to be exhausting and unsustainable.
This is where YOU come in.
Yes, you.
If the Fun Fair is going to happen in June 2016, we need you to volunteer some of your time to make our fair successful and to fill our children with school spirit. Being on the Fun Fair team doesn’t mean long hours or endless meetings. We’re looking for a BIG team of people who can each take on a SMALL task so that together, we can pull off the biggest and best Fun Fair our school has ever seen. It’s such a great way to end the school year and the students love it!
Here’s an idea of roles we’re looking to fill:
* Generating ideas by attending a meeting or two
* Graphic design
* Hanging posters in the neighbourhood
* Promotion on social media & other local media outlets
* Find monetary sponsorship (If we had 10 people find one sponsor we’d be laughing)
* Find vendors for face painting, balloons and other activities
* Food (plan menus, find food sponsors and vendors)
* Find Entertainment
* Equipment rental (bouncy castles, rock climbing wall, etc)
* Games (generating ideas and finding supplies)
* Administrative things (photocoying, data entry, spreadsheet tracking, etc)
* Prizes (generate ideas and find donations)
* General running around (shop basic supplies, pick up prizes, etc)
* Recognition (print certificates and coordinate delivery after the event)
* Recruit volunteers for event day

In many cases, these roles can be split, so partner up with a friend!
We’re counting on YOU.
E-mail us at chair@roden.ca to confirm your interest in joining the Fun Fair Team OR look for the sign up sheet in the main office.

Help wanted

help wanted

Roden.ca needs your help.

Do you know html or WordPress? If you can donate an hour or two of your time occasionally then please contact communications@roden.ca.

This site is run by parents for parents. Please consider lending your skills to support our school community.

Learning About Social Responsibility First Hand

Food Drive

Once again this year, our school together with the support of the Roden school council will participate in the local community food drive for the Glen Rhodes Food Bank. Mr. Mighton and the grade 8 students along with Ms. Vacrinos and the JK/SK students will be working on signs to help promote the event.

This is an excellent opportunity for all students to learn about social responsibility and to participate first hand, by helping to shop for and to deliver the food donation items to the school.

The drive will run from December 1-15th and food donations can be dropped off in the main lobby or in the JK/SK area.

The foods most needed are:

  • canned vegetables
  • pasta/ pasta sauce
  • canned fruit
  • 100% fruit juice
  • rice
  • high fibre/low sugar cereal
  • oatmeal
  • flour
  • granola bars
  • canned meat in water
  • canned fish (tuna in water)
  • dried/canned beans
  • peanut butter
  • powdered millk
  • baby food (vegetables and fruit)/ baby cereal/ baby formula
  • Thank you in advance for your support.

    Roden Spirit Wear is here again!

    Greyshirt web
    Maroonshirt web
    Back by popular demand RODEN SPIRIT WEAR! This year we are proud to offer hooded pullover sweatshirts just in time for the cold weather! The shirts are available in either grey or maroon and come in a full range of sizes for youth and adults. They feature the Roden school crest on the front and our school name on the back. The text and crest are both printed in white. The shirts are Gildan classic fit hooded sweatshirts, 50% cotton / 50% polyester preshrunk fleece with a handy front pocket. There will be samples of the youth sizes hanging in the school office should you want to confirm your size and view the colour options.

    The sweatshirts are $25 each and orders are due no later than Monday November 30th. Don’t worry, they will be in before the winter break for all your holiday comfort. This is a limited time offer so get yours while you can and show your school spirit!

    From Mr. Lasso

    Safe Schools & Mental Health
    If you would like to be part of our Safe Schools / Mental Health Committee, we meet 11:50am – 12:30pm the last Wednesday of each month in the Library, please plan to attend to see how you can help and share your ideas.

    The next meetings is Wed. Nov. 25, 2015.

    The committee is a forum for sharing, consultation and promotion of safety and student/staff/community well-being and mental health.

    Ideally we would like reps from the students (student council), each employee group, school council (parents/guardians) and the community (PFLC, RCCC, other, etc.) and all those with an interest and willing to give some of their time. Admin, social work and psychology are standing members and the more , the merrier.

    If you are interested, please do attend. No RSVP required.

    Introducing Our New Buddy Bench
    If you haven’t heard yet, we have a new Buddy Bench that was recently featured by the TDSB. Check out this link for more information:

    Lunch Room Supervisors Needed
    If you are available and interested in a part-time, temporary job in one of our seven lunch rooms, please leave your name at the main office and we’ll be in touch. We are currently looking to expand our supply list for the new year.

    Empathy Assembly – Nov 17

    Some of the ideas communicated at the assembly include empathy and anti-bullying. The Buddy Bench was also officially introduced and explained to the students.

    Mr. Lasso also acknowledged that our school campus is situated upon traditional territories and a grade 8 student performed a traditional dance.

    Please click on the photos to enlarge.
    Empathy stitch 2
    Bullying Reporting Box
    dance stitch