A healthy breakfast gets the day started off right, a mantra encouraged by National School Breakfast Week. (NSBW).

Earlier this month, Madison County Public Schools celebrated NSBW, a weeklong celebration of the National School Breakfast Program established in 1975.

According to the School Nutrition Association, school breakfast consumption boosts students’ academic performance, grades and test scores; increases concentration, alertness, comprehension and memory; improves classroom behavior; and reduces absenteeism and tardiness. It’s also linked to a lower body mass index; improved diet quality and a lower probability of being overweight or obese.

Locally, approximately 520 students participate in the school breakfast program. The greatest participation is at Madison Primary School where 210 breakfasts are served per day. That’s 60 percent of students eating school breakfast. At Waverly Yowell, 170 breakfast are served daily or 44 percent of the student population eating school breakfast. Wetsel Middle School and Madison County High School each serve 70 breakfasts per day, 16 and 13 percent respectively.

Each of the four schools encourage school breakfast, especially celebrating it during NSBW. Activities include decorations; student, teacher and administrator involvement; a poster contest; food sampling and new items on the menu. Staff members Amanda Hidalgo (MPS), Lori Miller (WYES), Judy Seale (WMS) and Lauren Eanes (MCHS) are responsible for coordinating the week’s activities.

At Wetsel, Seale invited special guests to serve breakfast. They included teachers, administrators and central office staff. One morning superintendent Anna Graham and assistant superintendent Cathy Jones joined forces to serve up whole grain donuts, breakfast sandwiches and more. Graham and Jones were impressed with the breakfast offerings, opting to enjoy a whole grain donut themselves.

Breakfast is served daily prior to the start of classes. It’s $1.10 for students, full price, or $1.50 for adults.

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