Superintendent's Memo #034-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

February 13, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: National School Breakfast Week, March 2-6, 2009, and National Nutrition Month, March 2009

March is National Nutrition Month and a time to Eat Right and focus on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. What better way to begin than with a healthy school breakfast. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in partnership with the School Nutrition Association (SNA), recognizes March 2-6, 2009, as National School Breakfast Week. The public schools in Virginia join with schools nationwide as they team up with some very special superheroes to Power Up With School Breakfast.

In Virginia, 37 million school breakfasts were served last year; however, this is only a small percentage (less that 30 percent) of the number of lunches served to students. The School Breakfast Program is available to all students in Virginia. As finances become tighter for families and schools, eating breakfast at school is a great bargain economically and nutritionally.

School breakfast is an important component of the academic process. Studies have shown that students who participate in the School Breakfast Program have improved overall diet quality, including greater consumption of grains, fruits, and milk; improved academic performance; and improved attendance. Increasing the number of students who eat a nutritious meal as part of the School Breakfast Program is an important step in improving the health of Virginia’s students, and their academic achievement as well. By eating school breakfast every day, children get the energy they need to “power up” for a day of learning and achievement.

I encourage you and the entire school community to join with the school nutrition staff in celebrating National School Breakfast Week.

Several websites offer free resources to promote and teach about school breakfast and nutrition:

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Catherine Digilio-Grimes, director of school nutrition programs, by telephone at (804) 225-2074 or via e-mail or the school nutrition program specialist assigned to your division.