Free breakfast in EL Schools a great idea

Every student within the East Liverpool School District has the opportunity for free breakfast.

That’s every student.

Each day of school during the 2014-15 academic year.

At no cost.

What a great announcement for many families who call the East Liverpool area home and send their children to the city school district.

It was a small item in a school board story that appeared in the Aug. 12 edition of The Review. But praise deserves to be heaped on those who made this responsible.

According to new district Superintendent Melissa Watson, it was food service Director Margie Wright who arranged to make the free breakfast available for all students.

“If you offer it, they’ll eat it,” Watson shared during her “good news report,” also noting that children who normally do not eat breakfast most likely also will find their way to the cafeteria.

According to, breakfast – as we’ve all heard – is an important way to begin our day.

No Kid Hungry’s “Hunger In Our Schools” survey, conducted in 2012, found that teachers said school breakfast led to increased concentration (95 percent), better academic performance (89 percent) and better behavior in the classroom (73 percent).

The website reports that, on average, students who eat school breakfast have been shown to achieve 17.5 percent higher scores on standardized math tests and attend 1.5 more days of school per year.

The American Dairy Association reports that kids who eat breakfast on a regular basis are 20 percent more likely to graduate than students who don’t eat breakfast.

The need for the early-morning meal is there.

No Kid’s Hungry survey stated that nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of K-8 public school teachers said they had children in their classrooms who regularly came to school hungry because there wasn’t enough to eat at home.

But even though the free offer is available, it’s still tough to get kids to the table.

The website states studies have shown that even though more than 21 million low-income kids in the U.S. rely on a free or reduced-price school lunch, only half about 11 million are also getting a school breakfast.

What’s important, especially here, locally, is that the opportunity exists.

We must say it again: Free breakfast is available for all students who attend East Liverpool Schools.

We appreciate the efforts of Wright, Watson and the school district for making this happen.