RACINE — The Southern Local School District received recognition as a Bronze Breakfast All-Star School for their efforts to increase school breakfast participation the Ohio Department of Education Office of Child Nutrition announced last week. Schools had the opportunity to participate in the Ohio School Breakfast Challenge during “Fall Challenge” and “Spring Challenge” formats. Southern participated in the Spring Challenge.
Grades Pre-K through grade 12 participated. National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) is a week-long celebration of the school breakfast program. Member schools celebrate with events, special incentives and promotions to increase breakfast participation. Breakfast participation is a goal for many schools in the National School Lunch Program.
Breakfast participation at Southern improved 14.9 percent during the week, noted Lunchroom Supervisor Scott Wolfe.
Supt. Tony Deem said, “We have a nice lunch and breakfast program at Southern. Our cooks have worked hard to add variety to the menu and to get our kids a warm, healthy meal. This breakfast challenge is a great way to get more kids involved. Mr. Wolfe and I will be encouraging kids to ‘go for the Gold’ next year, but we are honored to get the Bronze this year.”
“Our kids were competitive during the challenge week and I hope winning this award gives them incentive to eat regularly at school. That would be a win-win for the school.”
Southern offers free breakfast for all students.
“Our elementary numbers are significant, but yet we know that some kids that should be eating aren’t,” said Wolfe. “Breakfast is the fuel that kicks off the day and helps kids learn.”
Wolfe noted that Tricia McNickle, Elementary Principal, and Daniel Otto, High School Principal, were instrumental in prepping their students to not only eat, but “meet the Breakfast Challenge.”
In total, 445 Ohio Schools met the criteria for the Fall 2016 and/or Spring 2017, Ohio School Breakfast Challenge. All schools will be recognized and receive a “Breakfast All-Star Banner” at various Ohio School Administrator & School Nutrition Professional Conferences in June 2017.
Goals of the NSBW program are:
· Increase student participation in the program
· Spread the message to parents that schools are serving healthy and tasty breakfasts at school
· Earn media coverage from local papers, blogs, and news media to improve awareness
· Connect with teachers and administrators at school to spread the word that school meals are healthy
The benefits of breakfast are well known; studies show that students that eat breakfast at school have better concentration, better attendance and are more likely to have improved nutrition. Southern Local encourages all students to participate in the School Breakfast Program so they start the day healthy and ready to learn. More information can be found at https://www.fns.usda.gov/sbp/school-breakfast-program-sbp.