Pittsville schools win $3,000 grant for breakfast program - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Pittsville schools win $3,000 grant for breakfast program

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PITTSVILLE (WAOW) -

Parents know it can be tough to get children to eat breakfast every morning. One local school is trying to change all that. They recently won a $3,000 grant for its efforts.

Pittsville students are getting a healthy start to the day in the cafeteria.

"It's nice to just go to school and then after your first hour of class you get to have a nice breakfast. Then you can continue your day with energy and not an empty stomach," Pittsville 8th grader Kayla Larson said.

Schools leaders say more and more students are eating breakfast at school—twice more than last year. They say breakfast was moved from 7:30 to 8:30 and a variety of new menu items are being offered.

"More healthy, a lot more people go this year because it's more healthy and more variety," Pittsville 7th grader Matthew Carlson said.

"We have a large number of students going through, so we use the grab and go. Students can just pick up items and go back to their classrooms or the cafeteria," Pittsville Food Service Director Joe Dostal said.

Each year, the Department of Public Instruction challenges schools to get more students to eat breakfast. The six Wisconsin schools with the largest increases in that challenge, and along with it a $3,000 grant. Pittsville was one of the winners.

"We needed some kitchen equipment, carts to help us with our breakfast program, storage areas, and some extra trays for handing out breakfast items. It's going to help a lot," Dostal said.

Doctors say eating breakfast has many benefits for students.

"Breakfast helps improve test scores and behavior. By eating breakfast children seem to be behaving a lot better. We also see a decrease in absences and tardies as well," Marshfield Clinic Dietician Chrisanne Urban said.

Teachers say they've already seen some of those improvements.

School leaders say the most important thing is that students are eating breakfast, whether it's at school or at home. As far as Pittsville's breakfast program, they say there's still room to grow.

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