$300 donation getting Lake Cowichan kids to school on time

Lake Cowichan council was delighted to learn that the $300 they put into a program at Palsson Elementary School is already bearing fruit – literally.

Coun. Tim McGonigle reported that the donation – which was prompted by a desire to help increase attendance and boost nutrition among the school’s children – will be used to help fund a program called Activity Before Learning.

"It’s currently being run at a middle school in Victoria and was recommended by former superintendent Joe Rhodes," McGonigle reported.

"The program shows increases in academic achievement and attendance while showing decreases in tardiness and visits to the school office."

Dressed in T-shirts, runners and shorts, the students will participate in a three-week trial that features a variety of activities including dance, fitness, an obstacle course and more, he said.

There will be seven stations for students to try.

Afterwards, they will receive a small, healthy snack: a piece of fresh fruit provided in part by the town’s grant-in-aid.

It all starts June 1, with programs running Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

"They’ve been seeing about a 40 per cent decrease in tardiness with this," McGonigle said. "I’m looking forward to seeing how the programs works out."