A decades-old school continued its reign Friday (Dec. 6) morning, with Shortreed Elementary School teachers flipping flapjacks for their community.
For the staff and teachers, their morning started as early as 5 a.m. with setting tables, stringing decorations, brewing coffee, and mixing pancake batter.
Youth care worker Lindsay Romas manned the food bank donation table, which raised nearly $400 in donations for the local food bank.
Romas and special education assistant Gail Macklin were two of the event’s main organizers.
For over 21 years the Santa Breakfast has brightened the mornings of parents, students, and other friends of the school.
“It’s the one Santa Breakfast in Aldergrove that is put on by teachers and not by the PAC,” elaborated Parents Advisory Council (PAC) member Cashmere Roder.
“It’s so nice for us to be able to enjoy this one with our kids,” Roder said.
Last year, around 400 plates of syrupy pancakes and sausages were served.
This year, the school topped that number with over 500 guests enjoying a hearty meal to start off their day.
Kids lined up to snap a picture with Santa, and sporting Santa hats and ugly Christmas sweaters. Some even brought their grandparents, aunts, and uncles to take part in the tradition.
“We also have a lot of past students that have gone onto middle school and high school that come back for this,” Romas, dressed as an elf, added.
Romas’ two daughters – one a student at the school – were members of a jolly “recycling crew” that discarded items of waste into different bins. They were led by teacher Mr. Davidson as part of the school’s zero-waste initiative.
Other teachers lined the staff room and hallways, making pancakes that were collected and ran back into the gym and onto the plate of hungry kids.
“Everybody keeps coming,” Romas said.
“If students come after the bell on normal school days and haven’t eaten, they are more than welcome to come in my office and eat breakfast.”
“It’s really important,” Romas said, highlighting that Shortreed’s breakfast club does similar work every morning during the school year.
Led by Seventh Day Adventist Church in the Valley’s Acts of Kindness (AOK) non-profit, a group of volunteers serve Shortreed students who “otherwise would not be able to eat in the morning,” Romas emphasized.
A few AOK workers from club even showed up to indulge in the pancake breakfast themselves.
“They are amazing,” Macklin and Romas agreed.
Later in the day, Shortreed parents surprised school staff with treats over their lunch break. Following the event, on social media, Shortreed principal Chris Wejr lauded the school’s vibrant community.
“It was so good to see you all there,” Wejr said.