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Brittany Halpin

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Media Releases

Ohio Department of Education Press Releases

National School Breakfast Week Encourages Students to Start the Day with Breakfast

Release date: 3/6/2017

Well-nourished students have well-nourished minds. Starting the school day with a nutritious breakfast is a healthy way to help students focus and concentrate on schoolwork. To encourage more families to take advantage of the healthy choices available to them, the Ohio Department of Education is promoting National School Breakfast Week.

“National School Breakfast Week provides an opportunity for schools to highlight the importance of starting each day with a nutritious meal,” said Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction. “For students who do not have the chance to eat at home before school, the breakfast program ensures all kids can be ready to learn and succeed in school. I appreciate the efforts this week to educate Ohio’s students and families about the importance of breakfast.”

The 2017 campaign theme is Take the School Breakfast Challenge. The Department’s Office for Child Nutrition is pleased to work with school meal program sponsors to increase breakfast participation in Ohio schools. Schools taking part in the school meal programs are encouraged to “Take the Challenge” from March 6-10 with special menus, decorations, cafeteria events and more. Many Ohio schools participating in the free and reduced priced meal program will be celebrating the week and holding events to promote the importance of breakfast.

The Department organized special events in February to promote National School Breakfast Week. One contest encouraged schools to share unique ideas for increasing breakfast participation. Clinton-Massie Elementary School in Clinton County submitted the winning idea for suggesting a series of themed days, which include visits from local firefighters and morning radio hosts and performances by high school music groups. The district will receive a visit from the school meal program mascot, Munch the Fox, this week.

A second contest encouraged students to create posters using the theme A Healthy Breakfast Leads to Successful Learning. The Department selected six winning posters. Winners were from West Elementary School and Vinton County Middle School in Vinton County Local School District; St. Nicholas School in the Diocese of Youngstown Catholic Schools; Hillcrest Academy in Hamilton County; Stepstone Academy in Cleveland Metropolitan School District; and Kramer Elementary in Talawanda City School District.

The winning ideas and posters will be on display at the Child Nutrition Program’s Training and Vendor Show on March 6 at the Quest Conference Center, 8405 Pulsar Place, Columbus. The show provides opportunities for 500 Ohio food program sponsors to network and receive free training from the Department's Office for Child Nutrition.

Launched in 1989, National School Breakfast Week raises awareness of the availability of the School Breakfast Program to all children and promotes the links between eating a good breakfast, academic achievement, and healthy lifestyles. For data about school breakfasts, visit