OpEd by Jaime Hanks Meyers
Published: 04 November 2012 10:38 PM in the Dallas Morning News
In November, the Dallas School Board considered implementing Breakfast in the Classroom universally across the district to ensure all students start the day fed and ready to learn.
In an opinion piece in the Dallas Morning News, Jaime Hanks Meyers, Managing Director of CHILDREN AT RISK in North Texas, shares how research consistently shows education to be the best tool for ending poverty in a child’s life. A child going to school hungry is at a distinct disadvantage. Breakfast in the Classroom can help take away that disadvantage by ensuring that these children get at least one meal a day, allowing them to be focused and healthy in their pursuit of education. The data also shows that through implementing Breakfast in the Classroom universally, the stigma of being “the poor kid” who eats school breakfast can be reduced or eliminated.
Jaime continues with an explanation of common myths about serving breakfast universally, challenges the program has faced, and solutions for those. Beyond that, Jaime gives a call to action. At the time of publication, three school board members had vocally supported the mandate for the program and two more were needed for it to pass. Jaime asked parents, teachers and taxpayers to make a call to a school board member in order to let them know how important this mandate is.
Hungry or healthy, focused or disruptive – each call can mean the difference in making these decisions.
**On November 29th, the Dallas School Board voted unanimously to implement Breakfast in the Classroom universally across the district! Thanks to the calls of advocates and parents and the work of nonprofits, including CHILDREN AT RISK, over 86,000 students who were eligible for a free or reduced breakfast but were not receiving it will now start the day with a full belly.**