Trahan Elementary School awarded $1,725 by the dairy farm families of Massachusetts to offer a healthy Breakfast-in-the-Classroom program to all students!
Tewksbury, MA – December 16, 2014 – Trahan Elementary School hosted an event today with New England Patriots Defensive Back Devin McCourty and Massachusetts dairy farmer Warren Shaw to celebrate the $1,725 the school recently received in funding to start a Breakfast-in-the-Classroom program. This initiative is part of the outstanding efforts made by this school to increase opportunities for students to eat healthy and be physically active every day through the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. Research shows that eating a healthy school breakfast every day is associated with improved academic success, attendance and behavior. The Breakfast-in-the-Classroom program at Trahan Elementary School will ensure that every student has access to a healthy meal when the school day begins so that they are prepared to learn. Fuel Up to Play 60 is the nation’s largest in-school wellness program created by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League in collaboration with the USDA. Funding for this program is provided by the dairy farm families of Massachusetts.
“We are very excited about this grant and are eager to start our new Breakfast-in-the-Classroom program come January,” said Deb Mugford, school nutrition director of Tewksbury Public Schools. “As school leaders, it’s vital that we treat the student as a whole person by focusing on both academics and healthy behaviors such as eating a daily breakfast and being active every day.”
Trahan Elementary School will implement a “Breakfast-in-the-Classroom” breakfast program in January 2015 and is currently exploring additional ways to improve access to healthy foods for students. The school’s goal is to increase breakfast participation to 43% by the end of the 2014-15 academic year.
During the event today, McCourty and Shaw spoke with the 250 3rd and 4th grade students at Trahan Elementary School about the importance of fueling up with a nutritious breakfast and being active for at least 60 minutes every day.
“Breakfast is fuel for your body and your mind,” notes Devin McCourty, defensive back, New England Patriots. “I am happy that I can be here today to help encourage the students of Trahan Elementary School to enjoy a healthy breakfast every morning at school and to be active for 60 minutes each day. Learning these healthy behaviors now will help them succeed in the future.”
Massachusetts dairy farmer Warren Shaw echoed McCourty’s sentiments, adding that “As dairy farmers, we work hard every day to provide our community with a wholesome and healthy product they can enjoy as part of a healthy diet.”
Additionally, Mary Joan McLarney from the USDA and Diane Sylvia from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education spoke to the students about the link between academic success and eating a healthy breakfast at school.
“Increasing school breakfast participation provides support for all children throughout the day,” said Diane Sylvia, MA school nutrition programs state coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
During the celebration at Trahan Elementary School, the Massachusetts School Breakfast Challenge announced that it is extending its deadline to the end of 2016. Created by New England Dairy & Food Council, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, The Child Nutrition Outreach Program at Project Bread and School Nutrition Association of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts School Breakfast Challenge (MSBC) aims to increase breakfast participation in districts across Massachusetts by 35%. The funds awarded to Trahan Elementary School are part of the path to achieving this goal.
More than 73,000 schools are involved in Fuel Up to Play 60 nationwide, including more than 1,600 schools in Massachusetts. Funds for Fuel Up to Play 60 provides support for a variety of activities and tools, such as foodservice materials and equipment, nutrition and physical education materials, student and staff incentives, staff development and overall program implementation. Visit www.FuelUptoPlay60.com to learn more.
Photo Caption: Trahan Elementary School receives grant from Fuel Up To Play 60 for a new breakfast-in-the-classroom program and celebrated alongside Devin McCourty of the New England Patriots and Massachusetts dairy farmer, Warren Shaw. From left to right: Deb Mugford, school nutrition director for Tewksbury Public School, Devin McCourty, defensive back for the New England Patriots, Warren Shaw of Shaw Farm, Jill Read, nutrition specialist for New England Dairy & Food Council, and Matthew Castonguay, interim principal at Trahan Elementary School