Sixth grade ‘becomes aware,’ ‘works together’ at annual Hunger Breakfast


The class of 2023 poses on the day of their Hunger Breakfast. The sixth graders spent the day volunteering at the Westside Food Bank and learning about the issue of hunger in the world. Photo courtesy of Kate Burns

The sixth graders’ annual Hunger Breakfast took place on Wednesday Dec. 7, where they dedicated the day to learning about hunger in the real world.

“The sixth grade spends a lot of their year learning about hunger,” said Kate Burns, the sixth-grade dean and music director. “They learn about it in all their classes, and we also try and have a kick-off activity, which was yesterday. It culminates in the Empty Bowls Dinner that happens in March, so what we’re doing is framing this whole experience of learning about hunger for them throughout the whole year.”

According to Burns, “[The breakfast] is a way for students to become more aware and feel a little bit humble about what they do have.”

The busy day started with a breakfast where Archer girls were given tickets as they entered the room. Based on the proportions of social classes and wealth in the world, the girls were split into lower, middle and upper classes. Only four out of the 52 sixth graders were in the upper class, and 37 of them were in the lower class.

Afterwards, the sixth-grade students and advisors went outside to play a game called “the unfair race.” Each student took on the role of a different country and they all started in a straight line. Questions were called out and depending on their country’s response, the students took a step back or a step forward.

“We realized that it’s not equal. Everybody is starting at a different place [and] then they had a race. Obviously, the people in the front won the race because they were way ahead of the people in the back,” Burns said. “[The game] was meant to bring some awareness to inequities in the world especially regarding wealth, hunger, medical care and disease.”

Carla Martinez ’23 said that the unfair race was “really fun.”

After the game, the grade watched a documentary called A Place at the Table

“[The sixth graders] really liked the documentary because it showed people and students who are their age who were hungry,” Burns said. “They didn’t have enough food and that’s not something we really deal with here.”

“I will remember the documentary for a long time because it was a lot of really touching stories about people who don’t have enough food and the hardship they go through,”Lily Prokop ’23 said, “so that was really meaningful to me.”

A highlight of the day for many of the sixth graders was the trip to the Westside Food Bank. 

“I liked when we went to Westside Food Bank because we were really working together to help box these fruits and vegetables and to give them to people who are hungry,” said Alyssa Ponrarsana ’23.

Sixth-grader, Lucy Brodsky learned that “hunger is a huge problem in the world,” and her favorite part of the day was the volunteer trip because “everyone was working together and helping each other out,” she said.

“I really enjoyed when we debriefed in advisory at the end of the day,” Burns said. “I got a chance to hear my advisees and some other students I had talked to throughout the day and their reflections and it was really neat to see that everybody learned something, whether or not they knew as much about hunger as someone else — everyone got something really interesting out of the day.”

“It was really eye-opening to [the sixth graders],” Burns said. “It was rewarding for me and the other advisors to see that we planned a day that was enriching to them.”