Research shows that healthy, well-nourished children learn better, are more likely to attend school and are able to take advantage of educational opportunities. Studies demonstrate:
Iron deficiency is one of the most prevalent nutritional problems of children in the United States. It can increase fatigue, shorten attention span, decrease work capacity, reduce resistance to infection and impair intellectual performance. Consequently, anemic children tend to do poorly on vocabulary, reading and other tests. Research shows that students that are properly nourished are able to perform at higher levels. This is in correlation with students having a greater attention span.
Consistent attendance is an important factor when dealing with students who are at risk. Studies indicate an increase in attendance on Fridays and Mondays since the implementation of the program.
Undernourishment impacts the behavior of children, their school performance, and their ability to concentrate and perform complex tasks. When a risk factor, such as hunger, is involved, students lose focus. The elimination of hunger is a positive direct benefit to every student. Those students who are no longer distracted by hunger can focus their energy on productive learning. This also adds to students feeling that the school truly cares about their well-being.
Children’s brain function is diminished by short-term or periodic hunger and / or malnutrition caused by missing or skipping meals. The Blessing in a Backpack program ensures that students have access to sufficient meals while at home during the weekend. The benefit of this is increase brain function. This directly impacts the student’s attention span while in school.
Inadequate nutrition during childhood can have lasting effects and compromise cognitive development and school performance. Blessings in a Backpack program benefits all students in school, not only the ones receiving this service. As research shows, by reducing behavior issues and increasing student’s attention span, improvement in the overall atmosphere in a classroom is attained. With less behavior issues to manage, a teacher can focus on teaching.
The benefits are seen not only in individual classrooms, but also across the entire School District. An increase in attendance, test scores, and academic achievement improves educational results for the entire district.
By eliminating the risk factor of hunger, students are able to prepare for their futures. The long-term gain will be seen in these students growing up and becoming successful individuals.
Who We Are
The North Woodward Community Foundation manages the Blessings in a Backpack program component funds for participating school districts in Michigan. Through the association with this 501(C)(3) non-profit organization, all donations are tax deductible and may be eligible for a Michigan Tax Credit.