School Breakfast Programs
There are many benefits and many possible drawbacks for the participation in a federal school breakfast program. The USDA sponsors the federal school breakfast program. The relationship between hunger and the ability to learn are very closely related. Of the many benefits to a school breakfast program, one includes the assurance that the children are eating a balanced meal during the school day. In turn researchers believe that eating a balanced healthy breakfast leads children in enhancing attention and alertness, energy and motivation, concentration and self-discipline (Ragno, 1994).
Research has also shown possible drawbacks the breakfast program may lead to. These possible drawbacks include the assumption that children are not eating the breakfast provided by the school and in turn money would be wasted. Another concern for the breakfast program is the possibility that small amounts of children actually participate in the program, therefore the program would not be worth time, food, and energy spent in providing the breakfast.
The United States Department of Agriculture, (USDA), prioritizes school breakfast (Coles, 2000). The School Breakfast Program was just introduced in 1966. When introduced, the program was a temporary measure through the Child Nutrition Act of 1966. The basis for the implementation of this program was to accommodate children in areas where they had long bus rides to school and in areas where many mothers were in the work force.
Much of the research examining the federally sponsored USDA breakfast program shows that the benefits of participation greatly outweigh the drawbacks. Some of the benefits include assurance for students and others concerned, an increased awareness in the students during the school day, and significant influences in the student’s behaviors. The assumption that the students are wasting money due to lack of participation, may pose as a drawback, although research shows differently. This author wishes to recommend that district X participates in a USDA sponsored Federal School Breakfast Program.
Assurance for students and others concerned regarding the breakfast program mostly relies around the time consuming aspect of the program. An article in American Teacher stated that in many schools teachers expressed concerns about the logistics of the program, including the loss of instructional time. That concern soon faded. Teachers reported that breakfast was finished within the allotted time for homeroom. In addition classrooms remain clean, students cooperate, and show leadership (American Teacher, 1998). Students cooperate and show leadership in being allowed to eat their breakfast in the classroom and clean up after themselves. For today’s families, time and energy are at a premium in the morning. School breakfast can help those with busy life styles an can also play a significant role in reducing a growing national problem – hunger (Neifert,...