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Breakfast returns to Quaker Valley elementary schools

| Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009

Quaker Valley elementary school students are learning what the most important meal of the day is.

Edgeworth and Osborne elementary schools began serving breakfast on a pilot basis December 1 for the first time in 12 years.

"We want to make sure the kids start out with a nutritious breakfast," Food Services Director Betsy Klasnick said.

For $1.35, students are offered an array of items, including fruit or juice, 1 percent white or skim milk and a choice of two from among cereals, bagels or muffins. Students in the district's free or reduced-lunch program qualify for the same breakfast, Klasnick said.

On Tuesdays, the menu includes French toast sticks with yogurt cup, fruit or juice and milk; on Thursdays students are offered breakfast pizza, fruit or juice, and milk.

"Hungry kids can't learn," Klasnick said. "When they come to school hungry, their morning is not going to go real well. This will help them focus more on what's happening in the classroom."

High school and middle school students had breakfast options, but the elementary program was discontinued because of a lack of interest. That hasn't been a problem so far with the latest incarnation.

"With today's economic situation, it seemed like a great time to offer it," Klasnick said.

Students have about 30 minutes before school starts to eat breakfast.

"If parents provide it at home, that's great," Klasnick said. "But we know that doesn't always happen."

In March, state Education Secretary Gerald Zachorchak announced the promotion of school breakfast programs would be heightened in order to boost participation.

Klasnick credits district employees for helping sell breakfast in Quaker Valley.

"The QV Cafe team plays an important role in terms of greeting the children," she said. "We have people in both buildings who are really dedicated to helping kids."

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