Food for Thought

The Food for Thought (F4T) program is currently being delivered to 400 primary school students in Don Jose Aguirre Elementary School in Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines during the 2019/2020 school year. The program provides lunch (hot meal), lessons and activities designed to inspire the next generation to think and live differently. Delivered once a month during the school year, the lessons and activities focus on inspiring the students to take on a growth mindset and introduce concepts of learn by play while tackling different topics.

Lessons are delivered in four segments each month: growth mindset, values, waste management and a bonus topic per month. Activities aim to tap into the creativity of students and inspire them to think outside the box. 

F4T was inspired by a personal mindset overhaul whilst working with kinesiologist extraordinaire Rachel Dhanjal and completing The Science of Wellbeing course, plus a strong desire to make a difference in my home country. It is a fast-tracked dream which was initially on the 5 to 10 year to do list. Thanks to the amazing people at ImpactSeed for the opportunity to take part in the inaugural Perth Pitch for Good in 2018, it was brought to the forefront.

Snapshot of the topics and activities covered:

  • Growth Mindset – growth vs fixed mindset, developing growth mindset habits, developing habits of gratitude
  • Values – gratitude, respect, diligence, resilience, sharing, and community
  • Waste management – upcycling, recycling, decreasing waste, community projects to decrease waste. This was a topic highlighted as a major concern by the teaching staff.
  • Rotating Monthly Topics – agriculture, nutrition, personal and environmental hygiene, heroes and the mindset of heroes, gratitude (community), etc.
  • Activities – gratitude diary, drawings, upcycling and recycling creations, team drawing and reasoning, gratitude notes to others in class and larger community

We are also hoping to help the school with the following:

  • Water supply issues (only one classroom has access to running water)
  • Fixing their computer teaching set up so the students can start hands on computer lessons
  • A secure school garden which will incorporate upcycling/recycling projects
  • Mini library (send your books this way, unused encyclopedias, books and magazines appropriate for kindergarten to year 6)
  • Spare laptop for teachers (currently 16 teachers share 1 laptop and use their own wifi dongles to access the internet)

Funding currently covers the pilot delivery thanks to the amazing people who backed the Pitch for Good/StartSomeGood campaign  but we are looking for ways to raise funds for year two delivery.

Keep your eyes peeled as we test out some products showcasing our amazing program participants handiwork.

The Aim

To inspire the students to take on the growth mindset, to tackle challenges head on, try new things, be driven to learn and improve to achieve their goals, and to not take failure as the end of the line.

Help students tap into their skill sets, be it drawing, writing, however they want to express themselves.

Enable these primary school students to understand how their mindset, actions and behaviour affect their future and how it impacts those around them.

Annual Children’s Christmas Party

AKA The One That Started It All.

The first party was in December 2015 but the first Baked by Erica sponsored party was in December 2016. Baked by Erica was launched to continue to provide funding for the party after Erica became unemployed due to an injury.

Our amazing crew not only cook for over 100 children and their parents but they also prepare the gifts and serve the food. Our one rule for this party is that the kids don’t line up for their food – it is THEIR party after all!  

Each child receives a gift and the parents get something too. Since the start, childrens gift packs have included colouring / activity books and crayons, rain coat, gum boots, umbrellas, bags, and some treats. Parents receive staples such as rice, noodles, tinned sardines, and laundry soap.

The number of children we invite and the gifts they all receive depends on how much funding we have that year.

Educational Support 

Back to School Packs

Since 2018 back to school packs have been provided to those who attend the Flores de Mayo celebrations for the whole month of May in Don Jose Aguirre and surrounds. The packs include notebooks, pens, and crayons for the younger kids.

In 2018 only 55 children attended, this number doubled in 2019. The increased attendance was partly attributed to the school packs. Costing approximately AU$4 per pack – it offers such a great help to parents, especially those with multiple school aged children.

Flores de Mayo was a highlight of Erica’s summer break back in the Philippines. After the formalities of the program finished each day, it was a great way to bond and play with the kids in the neighbourhood. Our support for this program aims to encourage relationships and bonds for the children in the community.

Educational Tablets Rotation

On behalf of a donation from an individual who wishes to remain anonymous, we have seven (7) tablets which are rotated between different classes and schools per term. The idea behind this project is for students to familiarise themselves with the device and learn how to navigate the internet and research different topics. We work closely with the teachers to ensure this becomes an immersive learning experience for the students.

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