B is for breakfast

October 13, 2005 11:00 pm

Pine-Eagle students take turns retrieving red wagons loaded with that day's supply.

And Baker schools are beginning to try it, too.

It's a funded by the federal government.

The idea is to make breakfast available to every student, regardless of their family's financial status, thereby removing any stigma to being on the program.

It also moves breakfast to after the morning bell, making it a part of the school day rather than an extra that takes place before school.

We wish it were otherwise, but many children are too rushed in the morning to get a good breakfast. Others come from homes where a breakfast just isn't available.

But the first meal of the day is the most important in terms of setting the foundation for a productive school day. Universal breakfast programs recognize that the meal is as critical to educating children as blackboards, desks and textbooks.

For certain, you can quibble with the program on abstract philosophical grounds. A cynic might ask, "What's next? Will schools tuck in children at night and read them bedtime stories, too?"

Well, for the good of society, many schools and community program do have volunteers reading to students, or checking on their progress with homework after school. And while certain brands of political philosophy might detect a whiff of the nanny state at play, programs like universal breakfast strike us as incredibly practical.

A public education is a fantastic cultural gift that shouldn't go to waste for want of a morning meal, whether a family's financial crisis or lax habits are to blame.

We'll be glad to see universal breakfast in all our schools if it provides a meaningful return to the educators and students who break bread together.