Goessel-USD 411 is one of four districts across the state to receive a Bronze Award and $1,000 from the Kansas State Department of Educa?tion for increasing participation in its breakfast program over the past school year.
The award was made through the ?Kansas School Breakfast Challenge,? an initiative of KSDE in partnership with Midwest Dairy Council, Harvesters, Kansas Food Bank, Second Harvest Community Food Bank and Kansas Action for Healthy Kids.
Goessel increased participation in its breakfast program by 53 percent, second only to St. Mary School and Preschool at 67 percent.
For the school breakfast challenge, districts were grouped into six tiers based on enrollment size: Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winners were awarded cash prizes in each tier.
?We appreciate the daily efforts that begin very early to provide our students with an outstanding and attractive breakfast program,? Goessel Superintendent John Fast said of the district?s meal staff. ?Without their efforts, there would be too many children going hungry during the school day.?
Brad Neuenswander, interim education commissioner, said studies show eating a healthy breakfast has positive benefits for students of all ages.
?When you consider that something as simple as eating a healthy breakfast can improve our children?s academic success rate, and then you factor in the number of children who, for whatever reason, don?t or can?t do this, you realize very quickly that our schools have a real opportunity to step in and make a difference,? Neuen?swander said.
Fast said Goessel worked at increasing participation in its breakfast program primarily in two ways.
?We have worked to publicize the availability of the breakfast program to everyone, not just those who qualify for assistance,? Fast said, ?and our food service workers have gone an extra step to go above the expectations and baseline requirements of the program.
?Besides a continental offering, there are many breakfasts where we go above and beyond in providing an attractive warm breakfast, with some items made on site.?