Three Kentucky school districts were recognized recently for their participation in a Spirit Contest hosted by the Kentucky Department of Education’s Division of School and Community Nutrition (SCN) to celebrate National School Breakfast Week.

The Estill County, Owsley County and Warren County school districts were awarded plaques by Education Commissioner Terry Holliday at a ceremony held in the State Board Room of the Capital Plaza Tower in Frankfort. Nine school districts submitted entries for the contest – the three winners and Fayette County, Laurel County, Ohio County, Perry County, Wayne County and Whitley County.

Participants documented their National School Breakfast Week celebrations and compiled photographs and text. The entries were displayed in the lobby of the Capital Plaza Tower in Frankfort, and KDE employees and visitors voted for the entries they believed best depicted the spirit of National School Breakfast Week.

Estill County’s entry was submitted by Food Service Director (FSD) Belinda Puckett and Mildred Brandenburg, café manager for South Irvine PK Center. The district created its own theme focusing on the food pyramid and incorporated breakfast into its classroom curriculum. Children created their own breakfast menus using the food pyramid.

Owsley County’s entry was submitted by FSD Charolette Thompson and Superintendent Melinda Turner. The district adopted the School Nutrition Association (SNA) theme of “The Search for Super Energy,” emphasizing the Breakfast Detectives. Highlights to the breakfast menu included a breakfast burrito bar and yogurt parfaits. The district also had a health fair and incorporated the importance of eating breakfast into many activities in the classroom.

Warren County’s entry was submitted by FSD Gina Howard. The district also adopted the SNA theme of “The Search for Super Energy.” Middle and high school students who ate breakfast every day were entered into a contest for an iPod Shuffle. Overall breakfast participation for the week increased by 890 breakfasts.

 Since 1989, schools across the United States have taken part in National School Breakfast Week celebrations in an effort to increase awareness of the availability of the School Breakfast Program to all children. School breakfast is not only good for children’s physical well-being, but also for their cognitive abilities. Research has shown that kids who eat breakfast score better on tests, have fewer health issues and even behave better.