Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hungry School Children in the United States

Imagine that.  Hunger inhibits learning.

Poor, lazy bastards should shine shoes in grade school rather than the US institute the dread socialist scourge of free lunches in public schools for impoverished kids.

Let them eat nothing!

[This may be the land of plenty, but many children are going to school hungry, and teachers often give students food to help them make it until lunchtime, according to a national survey of 638 public teachers.

Two-thirds of these teachers, grades kindergarten through eighth, say they have students in their classes who regularly come to school hungry because they aren't getting enough to eat at home, and 63% of the teachers say the problem increased this past year.

"It's really telling to see how severe the problem is," says Bill Shore, founder and director of Share Our Strength, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger, which sponsored the survey. "It's not isolated to certain urban and rural areas, but it's really happening across the board."

The survey found:
•Almost all teachers believe breakfast is important for children's academic achievement and helps students concentrate better and learn more throughout the day.
•65% of teachers say many children rely on school meals as their primary source of nutrition.
•61% say they purchase food for their classrooms and spend an average of $25 a month. They also have helped kids sign up for free or reduced-priced meals (74% say they've done that) and referred students and parents to resources in the school (49%).

Stacey Frakes, who taught third, fourth and fifth grades at Madison (Fla.) County Central School and now works as an instructional coach for an elementary school, says sometimes kids would come to her class and put their heads on their desk and almost cry.

When she asked them what was wrong, they'd tell her they hadn't had any breakfast. She kept peanut butter crackers on hand to give them, and one time she gave a student her own lunch.

She says hungry students "couldn't focus at all. All they could think about was wanting food. They would ask, 'What time is lunch? Is it lunchtime yet?' "

It's hard to teach children when "they are thinking about their next good meal," Frakes says.]

No comments: