Saturday, September 20, 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

Solano jobless rate drops, jobs rise

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
 
Memorial focuses on hope, healing from addiction

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Vacaville High graduate shines at tech event

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
New law aimed at urban water district reports

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Travis celebrates KC-10′s 20 years at base

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Highway 37 detours in place

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Maintenance begins on Rio Vista Bridge Sunday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Mother gives late daughter a voice by helping others

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B8, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Sept. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
.

US / World

Record-setting retardant used on California fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Brown vetoes diaper changing-station bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Oakland mother charged in cocaine death of son, 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

 
UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 6 Comments

Driver of stolen van that hit dog gets prison time

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
License plate scanner networks capture movements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Feds approve California’s immigrant license words

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
California man accused of killing fellow gym-goer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

California school gender equity ruling upheld

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
State to ban smoking at home day cares

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Fence-jumper makes it into the White House

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
3 guilty in Ga. salmonella-tainted peanut trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Fierce fighting in Yemeni capital kills 120

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Sierra Leone begins 3-day Ebola lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ambush suspect could be aided by dense woods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
France joins US against Islamic State over Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

After vote to stay in UK, Scots must heal divide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Florida town knew shooter had troubled past

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Daughter calls Utah doctor a monster at sentencing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Opinion

Lots of services available for Solano veterans

By Ted Puntillo | From Page: A8

 
Cheers, jeers for the week of Sept. 14-20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Editorial cartoons for Sept. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Fairfield Ford boosts animal adoption efforts

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Sept. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
Make sure you get educated during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

 
.

Entertainment

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

Fallon to pay up, broadcast show in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Legs power Mustangs in win over Falcons

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A’s Lester holds Phillies to 5 hits in 7 innings in 3-1 victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Big plays in second half lift Vanden past Center

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

After NFL, baseball addresses domestic violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Goodell: ‘Same mistakes can never be repeated’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kershaw gets 20th win as Dodgers pound Cubs 14-5

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raiders could be down 2 starters on defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Sharks open with new vibe after playoff collapse

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers’ Davis, McDonald questionable for Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stewart slogs through tough day at New Hampshire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio Vista gets easy football win over Delta

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Keselowski wins pole at New Hampshire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Gordon has suspension reduced to 10 games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

This date in sports history for Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

Pabst Brewing to be sold to Russian company

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

 
China fines GlaxoSmithKline $492M for bribery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Procter & Gamble cancels on-field NFL promotion

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

 
California adopts olive-oil labeling standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

Yahoo rakes in another jackpot from Alibaba’s IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Alibaba stock soars in jubilant trading debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

The Kuro taste: Peppery tang and hint of squid ink

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Charles Randolph Orr

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Corazon Libunao Thompson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Allie M. Zell-Jones

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 09/20/14

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.23 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

New Standard Pacific models in Vacaville

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

Real estate transactions for Sept. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3