SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 30
February 14, 1997
||Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
||School Breakfast Week--March 3-7, 1997
"Think Smart, Think School Breakfast!"
In our efforts to enhance student learning, it is important that students' basic needs not be overlooked. Adequate nutrition is necessary for students to benefit fully from educational experiences provided in the classroom. Eating breakfast can make a significant difference in student learning not only during testing periods but each school day. Research studies demonstrate that students who eat breakfast perform better and have less absenteeism than those who do not have this meal. Eating breakfast on a daily basis has a significant relationship with improvement in test scores and reduced absenteeism and tardiness. Children who do not eat breakfast frequently have inadequate intakes of calories, protein, calcium, and other nutrients that affect not only academic performance, but also their health and growth. In addition, children do not have the ability to compensate for the missed meal as adults do. The School Breakfast Program helps many Virginia students prepare for learning. They may not have had time to eat before riding the bus, eat breakfast so early that they are hungry, or may not have the resources for breakfast at home. School Breakfast Week spotlights the importance of eating breakfast and the benefits provided by school breakfasts for all children every day. Schools are encouraged to promote and participate in School Breakfast Week with both cafeteria and classroom activities. There are a variety of ways to encourage students to eat a school breakfast: breakfast promotions, classroom lessons, cafeteria decorations, and inviting parents, administrators, and community leaders to eat school breakfast with students. For additional information on breakfast, nutrition, and learning, you may request copies of the publications, "Better Breakfast, Better Learning," and "Eat Well, Learn Well" by contacting Dr. Jane Logan, Director, School Nutrition Programs at (804) 225-2074. RTL/idl