Here’s a look at one of 100 lunches given out daily to students in Cambridge Bay. Similar moves have been made in Rankin Inlet, where free student lunches were given out on Friday, April 24, in the community’s three schools, and in Iqaluit, where 500 breakfasts are served every weekday. (Photo courtesy of Cambridge Bay News/Facebook)

In Cambridge Bay, schools reach out with activities and food

“We will stay creative, positive and hopeful while staying at home”

By Jane George

Cambridge Bay’s school staff and members of the community’s mental health team plan to keep youth in the western Nunavut community of about 1,800 busy and well-fed, while the territory’s schools are shut as part of COVID-19 prevention measures.

Following the success of a pre-Easter crafts competition, they have created a contest to encourage youth to celebrate their community through short stories, art and photos.

“We will stay creative, positive and hopeful while staying at home observing social distancing and hoping to flatten the curve,” said an announcement about the new contest, called “Celebrating Cambridge Bay.”

The short story portion of the contest opened on Friday, April 24, with entries being accepted until May 5.

Then the poster-making contest starts, with entries accepted until May 21.

The photo contest gets underway May 14 and also wraps up on May 21.

Top-prize winners can look forward to receiving a $200 gift card, with other gift cards of $100 and $75 being awarded to those who finish in second and third place.

Meanwhile, teachers at the Kullik Ilihakvik elementary school and Kiilinik high school have been busy preparing work packages, which will go home to students every two weeks.

And on April 21, “grab-and-go” bagged lunches made their first appearance for students currently enrolled in the elementary and high schools.

The bagged lunches will be offered Monday to Friday until the end of the school year.

But the schools remain off limits to students to respect the need for social distancing.

To keep younger children happy, the Umingmak Preschool also delivered booklets of colouring pages and worksheets to all preschoolers at their homes this week.

Throughout the health emergency and to help everyone with maintaining social distancing, Cambridge Bay has tried to provide activities for residents of all ages, including social-distancing bingos on the community radio and bagged lunches, as part of its “Food for the Soul” program.

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