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JEJ and Carver win breakfast challenge

Research shows that good nutrition, powered by breakfast, leads to improved classroom performance, high test scores and better behavior among students.

The Mississippi Department of Education, Office of Child Nutrition, in collaboration with the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc. (SUDIA) coordinated a “Mississippi Breakfast Challenge” to encourage school districts across the state to increase and sustain breakfast participation in the fall of 2015.

Cindy Daley, Director of Food Service for Jefferson Davis County Schools, announced at Monday’s school board meeting that J.E. Johnson was the Gold Award Winner in their category, defeating all other participating elementary schools in the state.

They received a cash award of $1500 and a visit by a NFL MVP in February.

G.W. Carver was the Silver Award Winner in the same category coming in second across the state in CEP elementary schools. They received a $1000 cash award.

Daley signed the district up at the State Conference in July.

“I really felt it was important for the children to have breakfast each morning. I thought this challenge would push us to increase breakfast attendance,” Daley said.

The principal at both schools helped tremendously by making sure each student went straight from the bus to the cafeteria for breakfast.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the prinicipals and administration of both schools,” added Daley.

There were three levels of recognition for schools based on the largest percentage of increase in breakfast participation during the months of September 2015 and October 2015, as compared to these months in 2014.

J.E. Johnson saw a 9.73% increase in breakfast participation. G.W. Carver increased participation by 8.065%.

“Both cafeterias are in dire need of equipment and winning this challenge couldn’t have come at a better time. It is such a blessing,” said Daley.

In other board news, all four schools are preparing for MAP testing next week.

Dr. Powell, assistant principal at Prentiss High, is implementing a program for reading comprehension, and for positive behavior intervention and support at Prentiss High.

She has also put a mentor program into place. In this program, community members talk with students twice a month. “Students can see someone cares about them and wants them to succeed. A lot of our children don’t get that at home,” said Powell.

Superintendent Russell reported that there have been heating issues district-wide. Most have been rectified, others will be by week’s end.

Regarding financial matters, all bank statements are reconciled. As of December 31, 7.3 million has been collected for the school district with 13.7 million still to collect.