Gadsden Elementary School District awarded ‘Breakfast in the Classroom’ grant

SAN LUIS, Ariz. – Teachers at Ed Pastor Elementary know the value in the first meal of the day.

Omar Duron is a master teacher at Al Pastor and said, “I think it’s really important that first of all they have to have breakfast.”

Now a new program called ‘Grab N Go’ will make it even more convenient for students to eat before school starts each morning.

Michael Trend, the Grants Director for Gadsden Elementary District explained, “They can take it and they can eat it on the way to the playground or on the way to class.”

The Gadsden Elementary School District will receive more than 126,000 dollars through the Breakfast in the Classroom Grant. The money will be used to buy equipment like coolers and carts
making breakfast time more mobile, according to Ed Pastor’s principal, Abby Pemberton.

“This gives every child an equal start in that they all have the ability to learn because their stomachs are full,” she said.

Grant director Michael Trend says the school district was awarded Breakfast in the Classroom, because of its number of low income students. 97% of children within the Gadsden District qualify for free or reduced-priced meals. These bagged breakfasts will provide a free, healthy, fast option for every child.

Trend said they could include, “fruit, a burrito — they even have what’s called a super donut for some of them, and that is a donut with vitamins and whole wheat flour.”

School officials say accessible breakfasts mean more time spent learning in the classroom.

“Less discipline problems, less visits to the nurse certainly with headaches and stomachaches just before lunch,” Pemberton added.

Duron said, “It would not only bring up the performance of the students but it would make sure their energized.”

School officials expect the grab and go meal program to kick off in May.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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