The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


April 11, 2013

A great investment

West Virginia is at the forefront of an outstanding initiative.

Educating our children is of the utmost importance.

It sets them on a path that leads to the highest likelihood of success, both professionally and personally.

That’s why an effort to provide healthy meals to school children is a very important part of this year’s legislative sessions.

The Senate has already passed special legislation that could accelerate the breakfast and lunch program so West Virginia would be the first state to offer both meals to all school children free of charge.

It’s up for second reading in the House today and could be up for a vote on Friday.

Although there are many bills worthy of passing, this may be one of a more far-reaching impact than most realize.

Children learn better when they partake of a healthy breakfast — it’s been proven time and time again — giving them a literal daily jump-start toward gaining a quality education.

West Virginia school children are among the most obese in the nation, but instead of munching on unhealthy snacks, students could receive highly nutritional meals.

Truancy has been a problem, especially among the most poverty-stricken communities and families. The incentive to receive hearty meals will help attendance issues in many cases, sadly, but true. Some students have said as much. As long as they’re showing up for class, they’ll get warm meals provided to them.

But even with all of these issues likely to be addressed, why not make this very bill part of the education process itself?

This is a real teaching moment that should not be missed.

Educating children on better eating habits, nutritional information on healthy food options, knowledge of food groups and encouraging a healthy dose of dietary wisdom would serve the children and their families very well.

You have a captive audience every morning and afternoon. You could probably incorporate a health or physical education teacher in the process.

It’s worth investigating.

This week, Janet Poppendieck, a sociology professor at Hunter College, City University of New York, told a special Senate committee that West Virginia should be proud that it stands alone in not offering food items a la carte in the cafeteria since that opens the gates for non-nutritional snacks.

While steps such as removing vending machines have improved school lunch options, more must be done to help our families.

It’s a great investment in our state’s future.

And our children.

Text Only
  • The play’s the thing

    TWV twins reveal local riches that can’t be found anywhere else

    July 27, 2014

  • Primary care

    DHHR program weans folks away from the ER

    July 24, 2014

  • Rain? What Rain?

    Community still enjoys auto fair despite uncooperative weather

    July 23, 2014

  • Do tell

    It’s hard to keep a secret in today’s here-a-camera, there-a-camera, everywhere-a-camera world. Whatever one does that is embarrassing is immediately posted on YouTube, Facebook or other social media of choice.

    July 22, 2014

  • Juvenile justice

    West Virginia nearly doubled the rate it sent youths to juvenile facilities from 1997 to 2011, in contrast to declining rates of youthful incarceration elsewhere in the United States.

    July 20, 2014

  • Thumbs — Saturday, July 19, 2014

    July 19, 2014

  • Do something

     Johnstown police have charged three men in the brutal murder early Sunday of a city academy student.

    July 18, 2014

  • Showcase

    For White Sulphur Springs, there’s hardly enough time to catch a breath.

    July 17, 2014

  • Bon appetit

    Agriculture and farm products can help diversify state economy

    July 16, 2014

  • Generous

    Outsiders can say what they will about West Virginians — but they can’t say we’re stingy.
    Time after time after time, we band together to help our neighbors out of a jam, aid someone down on their luck or otherwise in a bad way.

    July 15, 2014