Feed a Student, Feed the Future

When a teen was shot to death in the halls of a Toronto high school in 2007, it sparked a hunger among educators in the troubled neighbourhood for new ways to stem violence and offer a better future to their students.

Instead of putting in metal detectors in the area’s schools, they came up with a unique, softer approach to reducing aggression and improving concentration in the classroom: food.

“The administrators wanted a nutrition program – they wanted to make sure every kid was fed,” said Mena Paternostro, co-ordinator of student nutrition with the Toronto District School Board. “They came out loud and clear and told us a hungry kid was an angry kid.”

After some creative fundraising by the Toronto Foundation for Student Success, the school board’s charitable arm, a universal morning meal pilot program was implemented at seven schools – three high schools and four primary schools that feed into them. Now, three years later, there are strong signs that the principals were right: Not only do satiated students exhibit less aggression, they attend more classes, get fewer suspensions and receive higher grades, according to interim calculations by the TDSB.

Read more: http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/feed-a-student-feed-the-future/article2196186/?service=mobile

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