Breakfast In The Classroom

Published by Wakefield on Wed, 05/29/2013 - 10:18

Breakfast In The Classroom: The Little Rock School District has been selected out of thousands of school districts nationwide for a breakfast program that will make sure all the kiddos have a full tummy.

Four leading hunger, nutrition and education nonprofit organizations have selected the LRSD as a grant recipient for Breakfast in the Classroom, a new project funded by the Walmart Foundation.

The LRSD feeds approximately 25% of the students enrolled and as such they were identified as needing assistance with breakfast participation.

Through the $3 million initiative, the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), National Association of Elementary School Principals Foundation, National Education Association Health Information Network, and School Nutrition Foundation - collectively known as Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom - aim to increase breakfast consumption among school children and spark the academic and nutritional gains associated with the morning meal.

Along with the LRSD, the Dallas Independent School District, Memphis City Schools, Tennessee; Orange County Public Schools, Florida and Prince George's County Public Schools, Maryland were among the five public school districts demonstrating exceptional need and potential for success chosen to participate in Breakfast in the Classroom.

Funds from the Walmart Foundation will assist the schools with start-up and related costs.

"Providing children with a healthy breakfast every day is critical to ensuring that they have the nutrition they need to grow, learn and play," said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. "The Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom bring diverse expertise in working with community leaders, principals, teachers, education support professionals, school food service specialists, and anti-hunger advocates. We are proud to support this initiative as part of our commitment to fight hunger in America."

The benefits of eating breakfast at school are well documented and expansive, including:
-Improvements to math and reading achievement, performance on standardized tests, and vocabulary;
-Improvements to concentration, alertness, comprehension, and memory;
-Reduced absenteeism and school nurse visits;
-Reduced obesity and improved eating habits, including increased consumption of fruit, milk and a wider variety of foods; and
-Improved behavior, decreased tardiness and fewer referrals to the disciplinary office.

According to the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom, as more schools move to the Breakfast in the Classroom approach, federal School Breakfast Program participation will increase, thereby reducing hunger and improving educational achievement nationwide. In fact, the FRAC report released today shows that many of the top-performing schools serve breakfast in the classroom.

Breakfast in the Classroom stems from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation's $2 billion commitment to help fight hunger in America through 2015 that was announced last May. For more information, visit www.breakfastintheclassroom.org.