RACINE — The Southern Local School District recently received honors for its Breakfast in the Classroom program as part of the Ohio School Breakfast Challenge.
Friday, May 10, Southern Local School District will receive recognition in Columbus as a 2019 “Champion of Breakfast Award Winner” for their excellence and innovation of breakfast service at the Ohio School Board Association board room. Southern won the award amid a field of over 1,100 schools and was one of 11 statewide to receive the award.
The Ohio School Breakfast Challenge (OSBC) Partners will host Tony Deem, Southern Local Superintendent, and Scott Wolfe, Food Service Director, for the Champion of Breakfast Award presentation at the OSBC Spring Stakeholder Luncheon. At the luncheon, OSBC partners and leadership from each of the state education association groups will recognize all Champion of Breakfast Award winners for their exceptional work in advancing school breakfast.
Attendees at the award luncheon include Champion of Breakfast award winning schools, OSBC partner organizations and leadership from these Ohio education associations: Ohio School Boards Association, Buckeye Association of School Administrators, Ohio School Business Officials, Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators, Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators, Ohio Education Association, Ohio Federation of Teachers, and other youth/school organizations such as Ohio School Nurses, Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Academy of Pediatrics, Ohio PTA, and Ohio High School Athletic Association.
Other school districts honored were Bright Local School District, Cincinnati Public Schools-Dater High; Fairborn City Schools-Baker Middle; Garfield Heights City Schools; Graham Local Schools-Graham Middle; Logan Hocking School District; Millcreek-West Unity Local School District; Pickerington Local School District-Harmon Middle, Fairfield Elementary; Scioto Valley Local School District; Southern Local School District; and Winton Woods City School District-Winton Woods Middle School.
Food service director Scott Wolfe said, “Again teamwork is the key to success. Our staff, teachers, support staff, cooks, and students came together to get students a healthy breakfast to fuel the day.”
“I have had the pleasure to work with friend Sonja Hill Powell, a champion for kids in Appalachia, representing the Children’s Hunger Alliance of Ohio. She has been an integral part of our success and a great advocate for kids.”
“To have success feeding our kids is a great honor,” said Superintendent Tony Deem. “It is a service we are glad we can provide. Getting everyone on-board initially, and getting the program up-and-running so smoothly is a tribute to the entire staff here at Southern. Most of all it is a program that impacts our students in a big way.”
Superintendent Deem and Wolfe noted that both principals Daniel Otto and Tricia McNickle were important parts of making the logistics of this program work.
Last year, Southern was selected to participate in the fourth phase of the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom program, which is a joint initiative from the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), National Association of Elementary School Principals Foundation (NAESPF), the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), and The NEA Foundation – collectively known as the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom. The Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom also are working in conjunction with Southern administration and stakeholders and Children’s Hunger Alliance in Ohio. The program is sponsored by Walmart and its partners.
Last year, the Breakfast in the Classroom grant funding was introduced to Superintendent Tony Deem and Food Service Director Scott Wolfe by Sonja Hill, SSN Director, for the Children’s Hunger Alliance in Ohio. Hill and Wolfe worked together on the grant application and submitted it to the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom directors.
Southern implemented the grant in Kindergarten and first grade last year and went school-wide, pre-school through 12th grade this school year.
Wolfe noted, “The concept is simple and effective. We watch T.V. at home while eating a snack, kids do their homework eating snacks, parents read books and eat snacks… why not begin the school day with a short lesson and eat breakfast while you learn.”
Some teachers use mind-teasers or bell-ringers to start the day, while others begin their regular lessons all while students eat a healthy ODE compliant breakfast. Warm menu items are served at least twice a week.
One of the cornerstones of the grant is making breakfast more accessible, and to boost participation with the ultimate goal of eliminating hunger.
Breakfast numbers are up by about 200 students daily over past years and likewise monthly revenues are up.
Information from Southern Local Schools.