The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) has selected the San Diego Hunger Coalition to work in partnership with the San Diego Unified School District on an AASA-funded project to implement breakfast after-the-bell programs at select middle schools. The Hunger Coalition will provide technical assistance to support the district’s efforts to increase participation in breakfast through the grab n’ go model, which has been found to work best in middle and high schools. Breakfast in the classroom is the preferred model for elementary school children. The most important thing about both models is that breakfast is served “after-the-bell,” so all children are present.
According to the Food & Research Action Committee, numerous studies conclude that “students who eat school breakfast increase their math and reading scores as well as improve their speed and memory in cognitive tests. Research also shows that children who eat breakfast at school – closer to class and test-taking time – perform better on standardized tests than those who skip breakfast or eat breakfast at home.”
“In addition to boosting academic achievement and attendance, ensuring every child receives a nutritious breakfast at school is a sure-fire way to reduce child hunger,” states Anahid Brakke, Hunger Coalition Executive Director. School Meals Senior Program Manager Melanie Petersen met up with San Diego Unified School District’s Nutrition Services Director Gary Petill in Washington, D.C., last month to participate in AASA’s “Community of Practice,” which convened current and former school grantees and their local technical assistance providers from across the country to learn details about the grant and share best practices.
We look forward to sharing what we learn on this project with school districts across San Diego County.