Children should be going to school hungry for knowledge — not food. But for the one in five children going to school every day without eating breakfast, academic success may seem a long way off. In fact, teachers report that kids who come to school hungry lose an average of 132 minutes of learning time every day, according to a recent survey. Over the course of an academic career, that’s nearly five years of learning.
A majority of teachers also report that children who arrive to school hungry participate less in class compared to their peers and are more lethargic and disruptive.
“As a teacher, it was impossible for me to remain unaffected by the struggle of students who consistently came to school without receiving proper nutrition in the morning,” says Paul Jones, voice of the Toronto Raptors and a former elementary school teacher and principal. “I would look out at my class and immediately recognize the signs of hunger. Students fighting to focus on the lesson. Falling asleep at their desk. Acting out. Stealing food. Bullying other students. And my experience isn’t unique — many teachers I know tell the same story.”
The good news is that improvements in school performance can start by providing kids in need with access to a nutritious breakfast each morning. Most teachers believe that students who eat a healthy breakfast perform better, while over two thirds think that starting a breakfast program at their schools would help students achieve their potential.
Helping other kids get a healthy start to the day is as easy as making sure your own kids eat breakfast. As part of its Breakfasts for Better Days initiative, Kellogg Canada will donate a portion of the proceeds of every box of cereal sold, to a maximum of $100,000, to its breakfast partners, including Breakfast Club Canada and Food Banks Canada. Find more information at www.kelloggs.ca.