Thursday, October 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Breakfast after the Bell wins support

bates column sig

By
From page A2 | August 21, 2014 |

A new school year has started and that for principals, teachers and parents includes thinking about the importance of children eating breakfast. According to research, eating breakfast definitely links to higher student achievement.

Writing this column certainly brought back memories of growing up below poor (if there’s such a thing) in rural Tennessee. The memories remain as vivid today as if it all happened yesterday. Breakfast consisted of oatmeal or rice with sugar and butter every morning. Nevertheless, we still ate something before we headed off to school. On Sundays, our mother made hot biscuits and gravy. I never cared for biscuits and gravy and still don’t.

Today, many children still leave home for school without eating breakfast. Years ago, based on similar research, federally funded free or reduced breakfast and lunch programs (though not in my time) came to many schools around the country. Still I read recently that the school breakfast program only reaches about 18 percent of the children though 54 percent of California schoolchildren qualify for free or reduced food.

An extensive article about breakfast and learning recently ran in California Schools magazine. It covered a program called Breakfast after the Bell at Wilkerson Elementary School in El Monte. Wilkerson is among a growing number of schools that serve breakfast during the first 10 minutes of the regular school day. After the school day officially opens, time is set aside for children to eat breakfast.

With heavy schedules already, one obstacle meant winning over the teachers, classified staff and custodians, but the staff became more and more supportive as student engagement, achievement and lack of distracting interruptions, the report said. That picking up the breakfast carts from outside the classroom doors turned out easier than cleaning up the cafeteria came as a surprise.

Since there is only 10 minutes for the breakfast program, everything must run like clockwork. Sixth-graders arrive early, pick up breakfast carts from the cafeteria, and deliver the food directly to the classrooms. Teachers devised efficient procedures for passing out the food and cleanup. You might wonder what kinds of breakfast foods are served? The school boasts mango fruit, kiwis and Mexican sweet breads, as well as other things. Food surveys give children a voice in food satisfaction.

Breakfast after the Bell is a good option, researchers say, for districts with large numbers of children who are eligible for free and reduced meals. So important is the impact of children eating breakfast that it would be feasible to offer breakfast after the bell to all children even if they do not qualify for free or reduced meals, some say. Others maintain that eating a healthy breakfast has such an impact on learning that time out for breakfast should count as instructional time.

According to the Breakfast after the Bell report, schools that have implemented the program report higher test scores, less discipline problems, less tardiness and higher average daily attendance. Districts also receive more money, as districts receive federal reimbursements for every breakfast they serve.

The report went on to say that innovative school districts with alternative breakfast programs amassed amazing results on the teaching and learning at these schools. What about the traditional school breakfast program? The report maintained that there wasn’t enough participation in the traditional breakfast program.

In conclusion, Breakfast after the Bell research reported that a healthy breakfast links to higher student achievement in the following ways:

  • Students who eat breakfast on average get better grades.
  • Eating breakfast has been shown to improve a child’s cognitive and mental abilities.
  • Schools with higher participation rates in breakfast programs have, on average, higher Academic Performance Index scores than schools with lower breakfast program participation rates.
  • Schools with robust breakfast programs have lower absenteeism and, therefore, higher average daily attendance.

Unfortunately, children who do not attend schools with a breakfast program would not have the same access to this “nutrition learning boost.” Researchers also report that healthy breakfast eating habits decrease with age. Ninety-two percent of children ages 6 to 11 eat breakfast while only 77 percent of students from ages 12 to 19 eat breakfast.

Mayrene Bates is a trustee on the Solano County Board of Education. Reach her at Mbates34@aol.com.

Mayrene Bates

Mayrene Bates is a trustee with the Solano County Board of Education.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 5 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Linda WingardAugust 21, 2014 - 3:18 am

    My experience as an elementary school secretary was that if breakfast was extended into the school day children were often no longer brought to school early enough to have breakfast which was offered half an hour before class began and they missed valuable instruction time when teachers sent them to the cafeteria after class had started. And consistently it was the same students.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • truth'nAugust 21, 2014 - 7:12 am

    Parents need to take care of their own children or here's an idea .. not have kids .. until one is financially able to support a kid. We give people welfare, food stamps, section 8 and a wide amount of other tax payer provided services.. for gosh sakes, they can get their lazy rear ends up and fix breakfast themselves. If they can lay on their back and breed a baby, they can stand on their feet and earn the money to feed them.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JudyAugust 21, 2014 - 8:07 am

    To truth'n: You don't punish children for being born. If we can get them a decent breakfast we have helped a fellow human being. Maybe under different circumstances you would have gone hungry without a helping hand. Please don't be so quick to assume you know everyone's situation. To quote Bob Hope: If you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Tania GilliamAugust 21, 2014 - 11:26 am

    Thank you Judy. It's really sad to see how judgmental some people can be. There are many people who work 2 jobs and are still living in poverty therefore, qualifying for the free/reduced food program. I one hundred percent agree that it is not the fault of the children even if their parents are unwilling or unable to serve their children's basic needs. We should do everything we can to set each and every child up for success, not failure. If that means helping with meals then, so be it.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • angry taxpayerAugust 21, 2014 - 3:14 pm

    It would be interesting to find out how many of these people that feel they need free breakfast at the taxpayers expense, have cable t.v., internet, video game systems, smartphones, or any number of luxuries that are not necessities. It would seem feeding your children would come before anything else. We've become a society with everyone with their hand out depending on the government to take care of them and their kids. Pathetic.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Children run for the sake of running

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Suisun City streets: Better than Vallejo, worse than Dixon

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
60th Air Mobility Wing gets outstanding unit award

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

Real McCoy ferry to shut down Thursday

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Nairobi, oldest giraffe at Six Flags, dies

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Day of Remembrance focuses on domestic violence prevention

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
 
Audubon group to offer wetlands walk, bird workshop

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
 
Trailer rolls, knocks down pole, damages roadway

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Bridge to Life gets extension for temporary kitchen

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

Pumpkin bob set at Fairfield city pool

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Oct. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Canada’s PM says shooting rampage was terrorism

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Davis votes to return armored vehicle

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Study looks at lane splitting in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
125 San Francisco inmates to get computer tablets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California malpractice cap generates big spending

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Huge gold nugget going up for sale in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Healdsburg bans tobacco sales to anyone under 21

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
AP-GfK Poll: Public wants tighter Ebola screening

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Key features of rigorous new US Ebola monitoring

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Goofy dinosaur blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Social Security benefits get another tiny increase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
US to track everyone coming from Ebola nations

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Teens’ travel renews concerns about terror appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Blackwater guards found guilty in Iraq shootings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Methodist panel hears appeal over gay wedding

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Analysis: Fowle was North Korea’s easiest US case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

UK man faked coma for 2 years to avoid court

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Missile, fire from Egypt wounds 2 Israeli troops

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Mexico: Mayor linked to deadly attack on students

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Nigeria truce is shaky, no news of abducted girls

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Iraqi Kurdish lawmakers OK fighters for Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Prisons agree to end race policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

 
Don’t make this mistake after voting

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11

Editorial Cartoons: Oct. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Living a Democrat PC nightmare

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

Real reason to vote yes on 46

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
Keck did good job researching issue

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

My husband visits dating sites, stays out until 3 or 4 a.m.

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
‘SNL’ adds black woman to cast from writers room

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

NBC promoting Weir, Lipinski to top skating team

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Annie Lennox embraces jazzy ‘Nostalgia’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Renee Zellweger: ‘People don’t know me in my 40s’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Sax player behind ‘Baker Street’ solo dies at 60

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

AP source: Goodell told to testify in Rice appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Kings measuring success on ‘wins and losses’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Giants’ bullpen melts down in 7-2 loss to Royals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors hoping Kerr is final piece for title run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Local Report: Armijo XC teams finish MEL 10-0

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Carr confident despite Raiders’ winless start

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Phony World Series tickets, merchandise seized

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Request denied to remove judge on Peterson case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Probe: UNC academic fraud was ‘shadow curriculum’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
World Series rating for opener drops to low

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Beaten Giants fan shows significant progress

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Polian, Wolf nominated for Pro Football Hall of Fame

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Slumping Bears hope to slow No. 6 Oregon, Mariota

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford picked to win Pac-12 regular-season crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NBA owners fail to pass lottery reform

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Leafs-Senators game postponed after shootings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Brad Keselowski not concerned with popularity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
SHR swaps crews for Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

From Mexico to the World Series, Petit Giants’ shines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
’85 World Series Royals relishing playoff run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
This date in sports history for Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

FedEx, UPS make plans for a better holiday season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
The top 20 US cities for tech startup funding

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

‘Silicon Beach’ brings tech boom to Los Angeles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Government ups air bag warning to 7.8M vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Camel maker Reynolds snuffs out workplace smoking

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
BofA to refund Apple Pay customers charged twice

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Google unveils app for managing Gmail inboxes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
.

Obituaries

Dr. Robert M. Takamoto

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Mark Dean Lindsay

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Keith Bowen

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Blanche Stevens

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9