System wins state award in school nutrition
Falcon mascot to present state award to Floyd County Schools
Posted on 05/01/2014
Freddie the Falcon, mascot for the Atlanta Falcon football team, will swoop into Floyd County on Friday to present Floyd County Schools with a $4,000 check for being a gold prize winner in the Georgia Breakfast Challenge.  The school system increased breakfast participation during the challenge by almost 70 percent during the state-wide challenge.  Freddie the Falcon will present the award during a Georgia Breakfast Challenge pep rally at Johnson Elementary School on Friday, May 2 at 2 p.m.

Freddie will bring his special PLAYBOOK assembly program to present for the students.  The program addresses the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.  The effort is part of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program of the National Football League and the Atlanta Falcons.  The prize money won during the competition will help the school system to implement the program in area schools. The Georgia Breakfast Challenge was a joint effort of The Georgia Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs and the Southeast Dairy Association to encourage school districts across the state to increase and sustain student breakfast participation.  The goal was for school systems to increase participation by 20 percent. 

Johnson Elementary was selected to host the pep rally because of the schools high breakfast participation rate by students.  Johnson began a breakfast in the classroom initiative in 2011 that allows each classroom to begin with breakfast for students in each individual classroom.  The initiative has increased Johnson's breakfast participation rate to almost every child in the school.  Johnson received a Georgia Best Practice Award from the state in 2012 for the program. "Breakfast in the classroom has been a fantastic opportunity for our children to get a jump-start on their day," commented LaDonna Turrentine, principal of Johnson. "We are excited about Freddie the Falcon bringing his message of healthy lifestyle and being physically active to our school."

 The Wellness Impact, a special report presented in partnership with the American College of Sports Medicine, the American School Health Association and the National Dairy Council, outlines why breakfast is vital for students.  The research point out the academic, health and economic benefits of school breakfast participation.  Benefits listed in the report include:
  • Improved classroom performance, including better math and reading test scores
  • Decreased behavioral problems, tardiness and visits to the school nurse
  • Lower body mass index levels and a lower risk of obesity
  • Improved nutrition and likelihood of diets that are adequate or exceed standards