COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 30
February 2, 1996

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: William C. Bosher, Jr.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: SCHOOL BREAKFAST WEEK--MARCH 4-8, 1996

 
  The School Breakfast Program makes an invaluable contribution
  to many students in Virginia schools.  For many reasons,
  students may not eat breakfast at home; however, beginning the
  school day with breakfast enhances their readiness to learn.
  
  Several research studies have demonstrated that students who
  eat breakfast perform better in school and have less
  absenteeism.  Without breakfast children do not have adequate
  intakes of protein, calcium, and other nutrients that are
  important for growth, health, and performance.  A study in
  Lawrence, Massachusetts schools showed that participation by
  low-income students in the School Breakfast Program was
  significantly associated with improvement in test scores and
  a reduction in tardiness and absenteeism.
  
  In recognition of the relationship of eating breakfast and
  students' health and academic performance, March 4-8 is
  National School Breakfast Week.  This week provides an
  opportunity to focus on the benefits of a school breakfast for
  all children, its nutritional contributions, and to promote
  student participation.  The theme, "Open Your Eyes to School
  Breakfast,"  reinforces the concept that eating breakfast
  makes a difference in the attentiveness, behavior, and
  academic performance of students.  Schools are encouraged to
  promote and participate in School Breakfast Week with both
  cafeteria and classroom activities.  There are many ways to
  promote breakfast.  Classroom activities can integrate "break
  the fast" learning experiences into mathematics, language
  arts, and geography as well as health.  Other activities
  include:  inviting parents, administrators, and community
  leaders to breakfast, decorating the cafeteria, and cafeteria
  promotions to encourage students to eat school breakfast.
  
  While a majority of Virginia schools offer the breakfast
  program, there are many students who arrive at school without
  having eaten and who could benefit by eating breakfast at
  school.  In particular, many students who are eligible for
  free meals could be eating breakfast at school and are not.  
  
  Administrators who do not presently have school breakfast
  programs, or who wish to increase participation, may contact
  the School Nutrition Programs Specialist assigned to the
  school division or Dr. Jane Logan, Director, (804) 225-2074
  for further information. 
  
  WCBjr/idl