Take Time for School Breakfast
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Foster's Daily Democrat
National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) is March 3-7. This year’s theme, “Take Time for School Breakfast,” is particularly relevant to our kids here in the Granite State.
New Hampshire is an outstanding place to live and raise a family. Our state leads the nation in overall performance across eight indicators of child well-being, according to the 2013 Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Report.
Given this reputation for excellence, I was surprised New Hampshire has ranked 50th the last two years in low-income student use of the school breakfast program, according to the Food Research and Action Center.
How critical is breakfast? Research shows it helps improve classroom performance, attendance, and mental and physical health. That’s why NH Kids Count and its partners, the New England Dairy & Food Council, NH Department of Education and School Nutrition Association of NH, have challenged New Hampshire schools to improve their student participation rate by 25 percent over the next two years. As part of this initiative, the NH School Breakfast Challenge was launched, providing resources, personal assistance and funding opportunities.
New Hampshire’s national school breakfast rank is a rallying cry for improvement. I urge our schools to evaluate their breakfast programs and, if needed, formulate a plan to increase student participation. NH Kids Count and our partners are eager to help schools develop more productive classrooms. Together, we can make each new day a better experience for more NH kids.
Andre P. Beaupre
Board of Directors
NH Kids Count