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Hungry Kids Can’t Learn

Morning is a busy time for most, especially when you have a family. Just because you may be in a rush, make sure you and your family doesn’t skip the most important meal of the day….breakfast.

Hot Springs, Ark. – Morning is a busy time for most, especially when you have a family.  Just because you may be in a rush, make sure you and your family doesn’t skip the most important meal of the day….breakfast.  Eating breakfast is similar to putting fuel in your car.  If the fuel tank is empty, your car is not going to run very far.  The same is true for your body.  When you awake in the morning, your body’s fuel tank is low because it has been several hours since you have eaten.  Breakfast gives your body the energy it needs to start the day.  According to Hunger in Our Schools childhood hunger is a serious obstacle to learning, and seven out of ten Arkansas teachers report they have students who come to school hungry on a regular basis.  So what consequences does hunger have on learning?  The 2015 report of No Kid Hungry, “Hunger in Our Schools”, indicates:

  • 3 out of 4 public school teachers say students regularly come to school hungry.
  • 81% of teachers say it happens at least once a week.
  • 93% of educators are concerned about the long-term effects hunger can have on a child’s education.

Educators who see children come to school hungry report:

  • 88% are unable to concentrate.
  • 82% are tired.
  • 87% lack energy and motivation.
  • 65% have behavioral problems.
  • 84% have poor academic performance.
  • 53% feel sick.

Kids miss out on breakfast for a variety of reasons, so here are a few tips to help make time for breakfast:

  • Take advantage of school breakfast programs.  They can provide a healthy, balanced meal for your child.
  • Set your alarm and wake your family up 15 minutes early.  Use this extra time for breakfast.
  • Keep foods on hand that don’t have to be prepared and can be eaten on-the-go such as granola bars and fresh fruit.
  • Prepare breakfast foods the night before so you have something quick-to-fix the next morning.

 Childhood hunger has become a crisis. Children who continuously go to school hungry can have a harder time concentrating on their schoolwork and interacting with teachers and classmates.  Both of these can have a negative effect on their future.  For more information, contact the Garland County Extension Office at 623-6841 or 922-4703, email Jessica at jvincent@uaex.edu, or visit our website at www.uaex.edu.

EHC Information

Are you interested in joining an existing Extension Homemakers Club? EHC is the largest volunteer organization in the state. For information on EHC call 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email jvincent@uaex.edu.

Master Gardeners

If you’re interested in becoming a Master Gardener and would like more information, you’re welcome to attend their monthly meeting on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 1pm at the Elks Lodge.  You may also call the Extension office on 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email abates@uaex.edu.

4-H Information

We have several 4-H clubs for our Garland county youth who are 5 to 19 years old.  For more information on all the fun 4-H activities there are, call the Extension Office at 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email Linda Bates at lbates@uaex.edu. 

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

By Jessica Vincent
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jessica Vincent
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
236 Woodbine Hot Springs AR 71901
(501) 623-6841
jvincent@uaex.edu

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  • The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

    The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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