Thursday, February 28, 2008

School Breakfast

The Detroit Free Press puts the best possible face on the program. Kids need a healthy breakfast every morning, and what can be better than having that breakfast with your "breakfast buds?"
Alyssa Callihan isn't a morning person. So her mother makes sure the second-grader takes advantage of the breakfast program available at Harwood Elementary in Warren Consolidated Schools.
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"It's nice to have the option to have her eat at school," Jennifer Callihan said. "She gets to socialize with her friends before school, plus they serve a nice balanced breakfast."

Alyssa's mom said she thinks the healthy breakfast helps her daughter do better in school. And research promoted by the School Nutritionist Association, for National School Breakfast Week -- which starts Monday -- says mother knows best.

"Hunger can result in confusion, anxiety, indecisiveness, fatigue, and all of these interfere with children's learning," said Caroline Dylewski, nutrition services supervisor for Warren Consolidated. "Research shows kids who eat a good breakfast have more academic success."
See? What could possibly be wrong with a program like this? And because of its success, they want to expand it.


"It's nice to have the option to have her eat at school," Jennifer Callihan said. "She gets to socialize with her friends before school, plus they serve a nice balanced breakfast."

Alyssa's mom said she thinks the healthy breakfast helps her daughter do better in school. And research promoted by the School Nutritionist Association, for National School Breakfast Week -- which starts Monday -- says mother knows best.

"Hunger can result in confusion, anxiety, indecisiveness, fatigue, and all of these interfere with children's learning," said Caroline Dylewski, nutrition services supervisor for Warren Consolidated. "Research shows kids who eat a good breakfast have more academic success."

This year, Warren Consolidated increased the number of kids eating breakfast at school by 22%; last year's increase was 19.7%. But the total number of students remains low, with about one in 11 participating this year.

The key to expanding the program is more flexibility, according to the district's nutritionist. The district offers a variety, including hot ham and cheese bagels, turkey sausage, fresh fruit and yogurt parfaits, and breakfast pizzas. It also offers grab-and-go items, such as cereal bars and muffins.
and
Each school adds its own incentives. Warren Mott High School students are holding a contest to develop a school breakfast Web page that will be part of the district's Web site. Elementary schools have kids coloring pictures of fruits and vegetables while they munch on their breakfast. Middle school students have breakfast clubs and have decorated the cafeterias for School Breakfast Week.

And Warren Mott student Kristen Sitek, a 15-year-old sophomore, won the Fuel Your Imagination creative writing contest sponsored by the School Nutritionist Association. Her story, which points out how eating breakfast gives students a more focused attitude, is now being professionally illustrated.
Because as we all know,
"When I don't eat a breakfast, I get headaches sometimes. I'm really slow moving, and it's hard to concentrate on tests," Sitek said. "I know lots of kids blow it off."
I am a big breakfast fan. It's one of my top three favorite meals of the day. And I think it's nice that schools are offering that option to students. But shouldn't parents be feeding their kids? I've got some of my own, and so far, they've been reasonably well fed. They don't always eat their veggies, but they're healthy. I have this weird idea that I should take the responsibility for feeding them.

I'm guessing that some of these students qualify for free and reduced meals. In the district where I teach, the majority of the students do. I've seen parents drive up in Hummers and Jaguars to drop their children off for their free and reduced price breakfast. Sometimes we joke that students need a good dinner too, so why not offer optional dinners? And what about a place to sleep? After all, who can do school work if they haven't slept well?

How much of our parental responsibility are we supposed to give up?

2 Comments:

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Mrs. C said...

ACK!!

These stupid-butt parents need to feed their own kids! I'm already paying their welfare food stamps, doggone it! I'm already paying their medical bills AND their housing!

Do I need to pay for a babysitter as well?

OH! That's right. I already do. It's called "public education."

Wouldn't it be nice if parents sent their children to school, or educated them at home so that they would LEARN?!?! You know, not for the free meals and prizes?

 
At 8:20 PM, Blogger Harry said...

For some reason, those of us who are responsible and who do earn a living, and who do teach our children to make their way in society, are supposed to support the irresponsible, because, as we are told, they are merely victims. Victims of what, I don't know, but for some reason, we have to share our hard earned money with them.

 

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