Fuel Up to Play 60 is Helping to #FuelGreatness in Zionsville in Time for ISTEP Testing
A cow, a Colt and dozens of community members from all walks of life sent Zionsville West Middle School students into ISTEP testing on Monday, March 2 with an early morning event designed to underscore research results that show the link between a nutritious breakfast and enhanced performance in the classroom.
The local celebrities and community leaders manned the breakfast line at the school during the event, and several also spoke to the students during a brief presentation.
Some of the invited guests were:
Zionsville West Middle School students
Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee
Whiteland dairy farmer (and former Indiana Dept of Agriculture director) Joe Kelsay
Colts Cheerleaders & mascot Blue
ADAI mascot Buttercup, plus ADAI staff
Zionsville Schools Superintendent Scott Robison
members of the Zionsville Police & Fire Departments
members of the Whitestown Police Department
Julie Sutton, Indiana Dept of Education, Director of School & Community Nutrition
Vista Fletcher, USDA, School Nutrition & Food Distribution Branch Chief
Jan Swander, Zionsville Community Schools Food Service Director
“Research clearly shows that improved nutrition, combined with increased physical activity, can lead to improved academic performance,” said ADAI general manager Deb Osza. “Eating breakfast at school can help kids be more attentive, behave better and achieve higher test scores.”
All children need access to healthy, affordable breakfast, but millions of kids aren’t eating this important meal.
“One study shows that over 60 percent of students do not eat breakfast, and show up at school hungry and unprepared to succeed in the classroom,” said Jenni Browning, MS, RD, CD, senior director of communications & wellness for the state dairy organization.
“US students spend more than 2000 hours in school each year. In-school wellness programs, such as school breakfast initiatives, can instill healthy habits for a lifetime, and may be just as important as books in impacting student learning and achievement.”
But what happens when students, parents and the community at large are unaware of wellness programs available in the schools?
“Fuel Up to Play 60’s affiliated program, ‘Fuel Greatness,’ is designed to increase school breakfast awareness and participation to make sure all kids start their day with the ‘fuel’ needed to help them succeed,” Browning explained. “Many states and school districts with high breakfast participation have achieved these gains by moving breakfast out of the cafeteria before school and scheduling it after the bell, making it much more convenient for students to participate.”
“Options such as Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab and Go, and Second Chance Breakfast are designed to fit the students’ schedules, and make it easier for them to participate and get the nutrition they need at the start of the day,” Osza added.
“School Breakfast Week is an opportune time to recognize the importance of the US Department of Agriculture’s School Breakfast Program for America’s schoolchildren,” said Tim English, Midwest regional administrator, USDA Food & Nutrition Service.
Research and feedback from school officials have shown that children who eat breakfast at school perform better academically. Their classroom behavior improves, and they make fewer trips to the school nurse.
“USDA values the efforts of American Dairy Association Indiana, through its Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative, to support the School Breakfast Program and instill healthy eating and exercise habits in our children,” he said.
To learn more about why school breakfast matters, and discover how celebrities,NFL stars, school districts, and many others are helping to ‘Fuel Greatness,” visit www.FuelUpToPlay60.com.