New research shows that serving breakfast as part of the school day is a powerful tool in reducing chronic absenteeism among students. Schools effectively help vulnerable children in the United States, from providing the lasting power of education to meals and necessary social services. Schools can only help students, however, if they
Today, our schools are facing a crisis of chronic absenteeism: nearly 8 million students are missing at least three weeks of the school year, which equals 16% of all students in the United States. This problem starts earlier than you might think: approximately 3.5 million elementary school students are chronically absent each year.
This can lead to reduced student achievement, an increased likelihood of dropping out and a greater risk of becoming unemployed adults. Schools across the nation today are focused on finding ways to reduce chronic absenteeism, but they may not realize they already have access to an effective, powerful tool – school breakfast. Traditionally, this meal is served before the school day begins, which means many students aren’t able to participate. New research, however, shows that when schools shift the time breakfast is served, making it a part of the school day, they can potentially see chronic absenteeism rates drop by an average of 6 percentage points.
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