Gypsum kids can eat their Wheaties at school
Gypsum, CO Colorado
GYPSUM, Colorado – Getting kids out of bed in the morning and off to school on-time can be a challenge for parents what with morning grumpiness, misplaced homework, and I-don’t-want-to-go-to-school-itis.
But this year Gypsum Elementary School parents have one less thing on their plate – breakfast.
The Gypsum Breakfast Club program, which launched at the beginning of the school year, provides food for students from 7:15 to 7:50 a.m. every school day.
“The primary reason for this program is to get those little brains engaged,” said Lydia House, an organizer of this program. “We don’t want them to be antsy because their tummies aren’t fed.”
Eating a healthy breakfast helps children keep their weight under control, lowers blood cholesterol levels, prevents school absences and reduces trips to the school nurse with stomach complaints related to hunger. It may even boost kids’ attention spans, concentration and memory, according to university of Minnesota Childrens’ Hospital.
Gypsum Elementary School Principal, Mitchell Forsberg said he has already seen improvements in students as a result of the breakfast club.
“Our tardiness has definitely decreased as a result,” said Forsberg. Forsberg said the children who have been participating don’t want to be late and miss the breakfast club. “I also think kids are going to class more settled and prepared as a result of getting something to eat,” added Forsberg.
“It is the school version of Starbucks without the price and without the sugar,” said House. “It is a social time.”
All students are welcome to socialize and eat at the breakfast club. Forsberg said he is confident that some families at Gypsum Elementary School are challenged by putting food on the table, however, he wants the program to be open to all students regardless of their families’ financial situations.
“If any kid is hungry then they are not focused on what I need them to be focused on,” said Forsberg.
House said her son, Levis Pennock-House, is simply not hungry when he has to leave the house in the morning, but that he eats at the breakfast club.
For other students the breakfast club just gives them some more fuel.
“My mom feeds me food in the morning, ” said Jackson Davis, “But breakfast club gives me extra food for my yummy, yummy tummy.”
Rachel Hanson also said she eats a small breakfast before she leaves her house.
“But that doesn’t fill me so much. So that is why I come,” said Hanson.
Students are fed breakfast, donated by Costco, Columbine Market and food bought with money donations. Children are also able to take a snack for later in the day.
Although the breakfast club is not struggling to get children to attend, 70-to-80 kids currently participate, there is a lack of volunteers.
House said three more volunteers are needed a day.
“Volunteers run the whole program. If volunteers wane the program could be jeopardized,” said Forsberg.
For more information call 970-328-8940.