In this week’s edition, the Children’s Alliance, anti-hunger partners, and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction launch the Fuel Up First with Breakfast Challenge, motivating schools across Washington to make sure more students can focus on their studies, not their stomachs. Also, new figures show the impact of the recession on the state’s children, and hunger threatens up to 17 million kids across the country.
State School Superintendent Randy Dorn joined local school leaders, the Children's Alliance, Share Our Strength, the Washington State Dairy Council … to launch the statewide Fuel Up First with Breakfast Challenge.... "A nutritious breakfast calms rumbling stomachs and focuses young minds," said Dorn. "The Fuel Up First with Breakfast Challenge will help make sure kids are ready to learn when the bell rings." If all Washington schools rose to the challenge and boosted participation by 50 percent, officials pointed out, school breakfast programs across the state would bring in $18 million more in federal reimbursements.
State Superintendent Randy Dorn visited Auburn today, to have breakfast with a group of kindergartners from Washington Elementary. His appearance marked the statewide kick-off of the "Fuel Up First with Breakfast Challenge." While nearly half of all students in Washington qualify for free lunches, only a third of those eligible actually take advantage of the program. And, in our state, kids in kindergarten thru third grade are also eligible to get breakfast at either a reduced price or for free.
“Number one thing in this state, our constitution says, the paramount duty of this state is to educate young people," Dorn says. "And you cannot educate young people if they’re hungry.” The way to to do away with hunger in schools, he added, is by establishing this program and expanding it.
A release from OSPI says that about half of Washington’s students are eligible for free or reduced breakfast at school, but not many take advantage of it. The goal of the "Fuel Up First" challenge is to get more schools to participate in the free morning meal program — hoping for an increase of 50 percent over the next two years. In the release, Dorn says that a "nutritious breakfast" helps kids be ready to learn when school starts. Studies show that kids who eat breakfast score better on tests, earn better grades, and are more likely to be of a healthy weight and to get proper amounts of nutrients in their diet than kids who forgo the first meal of the day.
On Monday, State Superintendent Randy Dorn will join students and teachers at Auburn’s Washington Elementary to call for school officials throughout the state to help make sure all Washington students are starting their day with a meal. “A nutritious breakfast calms rumbling stomachs and focuses young minds,” Dorn said in a news release. “The Fuel Up First with Breakfast Challenge will help make sure kids are ready to learn when the bell rings.”
Last year, nearly 1 in 8 kids in our state had at least one parent who experienced the fear and anxiety of unemployment. That marks an increase of 90,000 since the beginning of the recession in 2007.That’s according to new data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which today released its 2011 KIDS COUNT Data Book, sharing state-level data on the health and well-being of kids nationwide. Kids all across the state are affected by a bad economy, but children of color are more likely to experience the pain.
The Kids Count study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation discovered that the official child poverty rate rose by nearly 20 percent from 2000 to 2009. And, in 2010, 11 percent of children lived with at least one unemployed parent…. Even more troubling in some ways is that the children who are on the edge of living in poverty, those children who live with families that are at 200 percent of the federal poverty level, we now have 42 percent of all children, 31 million children in the U.S., living at that level. We like to think of it as two or three paychecks away from economic catastrophe.
Jerry Large: The war on child poverty | The Seattle Times | 08-25-2011
Any significant poverty ought to be an embarrassment in a wealthy country. But aside from the morality of it, child poverty is guaranteed to damage our future by damaging the life prospects of too many children.
A fair, sustainable solution to the nation's deficit problem requires shared sacrifice. The super-rich, says one of the super-richest, don't need the extraordinary tax breaks they currently enjoy.
Respondents made their need for dental care known in various parts of the survey.... “Dental care is a recurring theme here, and we never asked the question,” said Hilary Emmer, who spearheaded the survey. “Imagine if we had asked about it.”
Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $40 million in grants for efforts to identify and enroll children eligible for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Grants were awarded to 39 state agencies, community health centers, school-based organizations and non-profit groups in 23 states. The two-year grants are authorized under the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) of 2009.
As many as 17 million children nationwide are struggling with what is known as food insecurity. … [L]ack of nutrition can permanently alter a child's brain architecture, stunting intellectual capacity and a child's ability to learn and interact with others… a shocking 49 percent of all babies born in the U.S. are born to families receiving food supplements from the WIC program.