As a No Kid Hungry Youth Ambassador at Three Square Food Bank, I had the opportunity to work on the Powered by Breakfast initiative, a program that makes breakfast a part of the school day for kids. Through the experience, I was able to get out into the community and teach kids about the importance of eating healthy foods, while visiting numerous schools in the Clark County School District (CCSD) and observing their breakfast programs in action. Last month, I participated in the Healthy Kids Festival designed to encourage kids to lead more active lifestyles by involving both parents and their kids in discussions centered on healthier food choices. I also helped create a "Spin the Wheel" game in which kids would identify the healthy and unhealthy foods to win prizes. Seeing people from the community show up and support such an important cause was very fulfilling.
By visiting CCSD schools, I am able to provide the administration with national best practices for implementing breakfast, while suggesting alternatives to get more students excited about eating breakfast. I have noticed a growing trend that the older students are less likely to participate in school breakfast and it is my hope to shed more light on this issue, ultimately working to resolve it. While promoting school breakfast participation, I am also working with schools that would like to implement a Powered by Breakfast event filled with games and prizes to encourage more students to eat breakfast. I believe that more students will be eager to participate after seeing staff and administration interacting with schoolchildren through breakfast.
Moving forward, I am excited to expand breakfast participation at other schools to reach more children. Instead of finding ways to improve breakfast programs already in place, we will be spearheading this endeavor with the goal of providing more students with access to breakfast; whether in the school cafeteria, on their way to class, or inside classrooms. We will be providing technical assistance to staff and administration by giving them strategies on ways to minimize loss of instruction time, methods to reduce waste and strategies to keep breakfast running as smoothly as possible. Studies show that when kids eat breakfast, participation in the classroom increases and students are more engaged, typically performing better on tests.