Indian Creek schools announces new partnership

FEEDING PROGRAM — Heather Loughley, director of school and summer nutrition with the Children’s Hunger Alliance, recently presented Indian Creek School Superintendent T.C. Chappelear with a $2,000 mini-grant to partner in a new feeding program that will provide breakfast in classrooms. -- Contributed

WINTERSVILLE — The Indian Creek Local School District is partnering with the Children’s Hunger Alliance on a new program to ensure that elementary pupils are getting proper nourishment.

The district received a $2,000 mini-grant from the Columbus-based organization as part of a Breakfast in the Classroom program that feeds youngsters in class, allowing them to be focused and ready to learn, according to officials.

District Assistant Superintendent John Belt said hopes are to implement the program by the end of this school year.

“We are partnering with the Children’s Hunger Alliance to explore ways of increasing the number of children eating breakfast,” he said. “One of the ways is to do grab-and-go bags and breakfast in the classroom.”

Pupils will be able to eat nutritional meals in class, which will keep them energized and reduce the amount of time they are out of class while dining in the cafeteria. Belt said the funds will help purchase hardware such as hot boxes and a possible point-of-sale computer, if needed.

“We’ll continue to work with the Children’s Hunger Alliance and possibly explore after-school and summer feeding programs,” he added. “Right now, we’re working on increasing breakfast participation. The pilot program should be at Wintersville in the next three weeks, and we hope to have something in place at Hills by the end of the school year so we can get data on the program.”

District Food Service Director Eric White said the program impacts more than 900 students at the elementary schools, including 504 at WES and 404 at Hills.

“Our goal is to increase breakfast participation by 20 percent,” White said. “This will make the food more readily available by taking it to the classroom instead of them coming to the cafeteria. I’m very excited. I want to feed as many kids as we can, and I know there are kids who are not getting the nutrition that they need.”

Karen Lloyd, president of the Indian Creek Education Association, said she and ICEA Vice President Sandra Vojvodich learned of the program during an Ohio Education Association conference in Columbus.

“We thought it would add teaching time to the classroom and it would be a way to reach students who don’t go to the cafeteria. Breakfast is such an important part of our daily lives and it would bring savings to the district,” Lloyd said.

“We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” noted Superintendent T.C. Chappelear. “We believe that this partnership with the Children’s Hunger Alliance moves us closer to ensuring that 100 percent of our students begin their day with a great breakfast.”

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