Centipede at Glebe Public School Inc. is a community based, charitable foundation / service organisation that has been providing before and after school care for students at the Glebe Primary School since 1989. The care that Centipede provides includes meals, ie breakfast and dinner, and social development opportunities to local Glebe Public Primary School children.

As readers will be aware, it is virtually impossible to concentrate and learn when you haven’t had breakfast. Consequently one of the vital things that Centipede does is to get children physically ready to learn.

Breakfast – “it’s the most important meal of the day – but one in four children in Australia skips breakfast.

At school, a hungry child can lose concentration in class, have no energy for playtime and snack on unhealthy foods, such as chips or biscuits.

A calm and healthy breakfast every day is the best defence against this happening. It also helps children to get into good habits that they can carry through life.1

Red Cross Good Start Breakfast Club at Centipede (image: http://www.centipede.org.au/)
Red Cross Good Start Breakfast Club at Centipede (image: http://www.centipede.org.au/)

So Centipede caters for children who haven’t had breakfast before coming to school; it is their health giving start to the day.

Centipede always focuses on creating a safe and enjoyable environment, encouraging children to learn social and life skills. Activities focus on self-esteem, identity building, positive role modelling and giving children access to opportunities to grow positively.

Another of the service’s aims is to reduce disadvantage through programs that reflect the unique and diverse cultural background of the children attending. Quite a few children belong to Aboriginal families, so many of the stories and craft activities Centipede kids do relate to their traditions and indigenous heritage.

Centipede has a history of caring for children from disadvantaged families who live on the Glebe Housing Estate. Many of these children live in families on the lowest of incomes, some of whom cannot afford the fees for attending the centre. Centipede has always had a policy of not turning away children in need, even if their families have difficulty paying. While they make every effort to retrieve these fees, they do end up subsidising some of the most needy children in our community.

The service is only 50% funded by government grants and fees so it always requires additional support to maintain its outreach. Friends of Centipede, which was formed with the support of The Glebe Society Inc. has one purpose only: to support Centipede. Its annual fundraising event is the Sunset Soirée, which is to take place on Friday 9 October this year. It promises to be a different and entertaining occasion. The details are enclosed in the attached flyer. We look forward to seeing you there.