The Bright Local School District recently received the Champion of School Breakfast Award from the Ohio School Breakfast Challenge.
Schools and their administrations were recognized for their innovative and collaborative school breakfast practices, including their commitment to increasing school breakfast participation and empowering students to make healthy choices.
All students in the Bright Local School District have been eligible for free breakfasts since the 2017-18 school year. At that time, the school district incorporated the Grab n Go breakfast program for the students oin grades 7-12 at Whiteoak Jr./Sr. High School. Due to the success at Whiteoak, the program was expanded in 2018-19 to include the upper grades at Bright Elementary. With this serving strategy, breakfast participation increased from 19 percent to 55 percent district wide.
More than 500 schools applied for this award. The Bright Local School District said it is pleased to have been chosen and that its greatest pleasure is knowing that its students are benefitting from a healthy start to their day.
Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine and Stephanie Siddens, senior executive director of the Center for Student Supports at the Ohio Department of Education, presented award winners with an engraved crystal breakfast bowl on behalf of the Ohio School Breakfast Challenge and a letter of commendation from the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
The Ohio School Breakfast Challenge’s mission is to increase and sustain student participation in the School Breakfast Program, ensuring Ohio students start each day ready to learn. The Ohio Department of Education, American Dairy Association Mideast, Children’s Hunger Alliance, Ohio Action for Healthy Kids and Ohio School Nutrition Association are proud sponsors of the Ohio School Breakfast Challenge.
Research shows that students who eat breakfast perform better in school, get higher test scores and show better behavior. Students who eat school breakfast have been shown, on average, to attend 1.5 more days of school per year and score 17.5 percent higher on standardized math tests.
For more information about the Ohio School Breakfast Challenge, visit OhioSchoolBreakfastChallenge.com.
Submitted by Debbie Robertson, food service director, Bright Local School District.