•To promote health and wholeness by providing a healthy breakfast for students during the school week. •Only healthy choices will be made available thus promoting good nutrition and healthy eating choices. •Students will be shown the link between eating a healthy breakfast and improving grades and test scores. •Students who cannot afford to pay for breakfast will be covered under the free/reduced lunch program. Today many students come to our schools without eating breakfast. They are tired and by the time classes get started most of them are thinking about their stomachs.
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Studies have shown that students who do not eat breakfast have a harder time concentrating and not being able to work at their full potential. Studies have also shown that children who consistently go without eating a healthy breakfast are more likely to be obese and have a palethera of health problems.
According to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health there are four main benefits of creating a breakfast club in the schools and they are as follows: •“ Improving health and nutrition” •“ Improving children’s education” “ Meeting children’s social needs” •“ Improving and supporting parent and family life. ” (Chartered Institute of Environmental Health 2009) The targeted group that will most benefit from a breakfast club are students who come from homes where either their parents need to leave early for work and therefore have time constraints , or there is a lack of interest in the students to eat breakfast let alone a healthy breakfast.
Then there are students whose families are struggling and cannot afford to provide healthy choices for their children i. . single moms, unemployed, etc. One of the most important aspects of this program is that the foods that are offered will be nutritionally balanced. Because it is imperative that we offer a nutritionally sound breakfast we would consult a local nutritionist and physician to bring ideas to the club that would allow us to offer our students choices that are both healthy and delicious. Incentives are always a good way to promote this program and to create an excitement for the students so that they want to be a part of the club.
By involving students, parents, faculty and staff we will create an atmosphere for success. One of the incentives that could be offered is to have prizes for those students that have perfect attendance and another could be getting the students intricately involved with the process such as having them vote on naming the club, and having them help to create the menus for breakfast. There could be prizes offered to those who have most improved their grades and test scores.
These incentives would be outlined at the beginning of the school year and the prizes would be given at the end of the school year. There would also be an end of the year breakfast party where faculty and staff, along with parents would be invited to the breakfast and the success of the students would be highlighted and praised. These incentives are related to the program goals because of the focus on breakfast and the learning process and the improvement of grades and testing scores. In order to gauge and maintain long-term success of this club we must first determine the long-term benefits and then measure the success.
According to Heather Hilleran in her article on Achieving a Profitable School Breakfast Program she examines the benefits of the school breakfast program and they are as follows: Nutritional benefits • Increased nutritional intake • Decreased daily intake of fat as a percentage of calories • Decreased stomachaches and headaches • Decreased obesity and blood cholesterol levels • Decreased risk for cardiovascular disease School performance benefits • Increased cognitive function and school performance • Increased attention spans • Decreased discipline problems • Decreased absenteeism and tardiness Realizing these benefits will help to measure their success.
We could do a study where we compare the PSSA testing scores of those students who participate in the program with the scores of those who do not. This could be a method of measuring the success of one of the above goals. Students also could take part in measuring their own success.
We could have each student to a two to three sentence journal entry each week to have them tell their own story of how the program has helped them. This could help them to do a personal measurement of their own success. The other area of the goals that I believe to be imperative is promoting health and wholeness. Studies have shown according to Dennis Campbell, a health consultant to “ The Guardian”, ” We found that children who skip breakfast either occasionally or routinely are less fit, less active and more likely to be overweight or obese than those who always eat breakfast,” said lead author Dr.
Gavin Sandercock, a lecturer in clinical physiology at the University of Essex. ” Children with the healthiest weight were always those who regularly had breakfast before heading to school. ” These findings are worrying because we found more obesity and lower levels of physical activity among skippers, which is of great concern because these children are more likely to develop chronic disease in adulthood like cancer, heart disease and diabetes,” added Sandercock.
While girls who skipped breakfast are 92% more likely to become obese than female classmates who regularly eat before school, the equivalent figure in boys was 62%. But the boys were much likelier than female ones to have a sedentary lifestyle and, critically, have poor cardiorespiratory (heart and lung) fitness – the best predictor of chronic illness in later life, said Sandercock. ” (Campbell, 2010) This study confirms that children who eat breakfast not only do better in school, but they lead much healthier lives.
This study shows that there is a need for this type of program. Each student has their own individual story and needs. Our cultural has neglected in teaching our children the need for eating a healthy breakfast. The media promotes a quick fix for the busy family. Most of these “ quick fixes” involve feeding our children foods high in sugars, fats, and preservatives. There is not an emphasis on eating healthy to stay healthy. There is a false security in my opinion when it comes to believing that because a child is young that they can eat whatever they want.
I truly believe that if we want our children to excel in school and in life they need to have a healthy foundation. A friend of mine has a motto….. ” garbage in…garbage out. This is so true. The school breakfast club is located in the school cafeteria in the morning up to twenty minutes before classes start. The program is open to anyone who is interested in being a part of it, including staff and faculty. Proceeds from the program will go to a student fund to help students whose families cannot afford programs such as the breakfast club.