Tuesday, November 25, 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

Soroptimists seek award applicants

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
Science comes to libraries – for all to see

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

Nichols plans free family concert in Napa

By Glen Faison | From Page: A7

 
Library schedules soap-making program

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

Church’s holiday soiree on Vacaville calendar

By Glen Faison | From Page: A7

 
Vacaville PD seeks VIPS program volunteers

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

 
 
Volunteers help Mission Solano pack for food giveaway

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Nov. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: Nov. 22, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Nov. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Suisun City police log: Nov. 22, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
.

US / World

Incumbent Democrats lose in 2 close California Assembly races

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
VA fires Phoenix hospital director

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Iraqi troops take 2 towns from Islamic State group

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Iran nuclear talks stumble, extended until July

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Brown names assistant US attorney to high court

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Driver fatigue may have caused California crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment | Gallery

Israel resumes razing homes to punish attackers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
GOP wisdom shifts on immigration

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 8 Comments | Gallery

Under pressure, Hagel steps down as Pentagon chief

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
No charges in Ferguson case; chaos fills streets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 84 Comments | Gallery

.

Opinion

 
Senate staff cuts reduce transparency

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

.

Living

Community Calendar: Nov. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

‘Wizard of Oz’ Cowardly Lion costume fetches $3M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Miller puts own spin on longtime ‘GH’ character

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

‘Today’ looks to rebound from tough week

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Review: Turmoil helps AC/DC shine on new album

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Guitarist: Leon Russell band’s instruments stolen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Sting tries to help his ailing Broadway musical

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

In wake of Spotify pullout, music industry debates streaming

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Bill Weir’s new CNN series to begin in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

TVGrid Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Forsett leads Ravens past Saints, 34-27

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bills rout Jets 38-3 in rescheduled game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Even top NFL teams have taken steps back

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Aldon Smith helps lead in 49ers’ 3rd straight win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Rod Streater returns to practice for Raiders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Taylor apologizes, won’t appeal NBA suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz on Hall of Fame ballot

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
No. 1 Kentucky gives Kansas a Top 25 tumble

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

LeBron on Cavaliers’ issues: “I stink”

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Police: Manziel’s entourage attacked fan at hotel

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Giants set record with $388,606 postseason shares

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Longtime NHL coach, executive Pat Quinn dies at 71

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Pablo Sandoval reaches multiyear deal with Red Sox

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
San Francisco turning to groundwater for its taps

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

South Carolina the new No. 1 in AP women’s hoops

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
.

Business

Budweiser gives Clydesdales holiday pink slip

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 3 Comments

 
Redbox raising DVD rental rates by 25 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

New FDA rules will put calorie counts on menus

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Unidentified country likely behind spying software

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Honda admits failing to report deaths, injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
United Technologies CEO retires, succeeded by CFO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Nike extends contract with USOC through 2020

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
High-end home sales surge in Southern California

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Rose is Rose Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Bridge Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Garfield Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Word Sleuth Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4