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Opponents of latest AR state tax cuts say they benefit wealthy Arkansans; Julian Assange agrees to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid imprisonment in US; Tech-based carbon-capture projects make headway in local government; NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice.

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Charges against fake electors in Nevada are dismissed, Milwaukee officials get ready to expect the unexpected at the RNC convention, and the Justice Department says Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

More Virginia Students Get Breakfast at School

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015   

RICHMOND, Va. - More Virginia students are getting breakfast in school, according to a new report, and hunger-fighting advocates say the state can do more to help boost learning.

According to the Food Research and Action Center, more of the kids who need it are gaining access to school breakfasts in Virginia and around the nation. LaTonya Reed, director of Virginia Hunger Solutions, said local schools could add strategies such as letting kids eat in class or after first period, or letting them grab a breakfast on the go.

"Really get creative," she said. "When a school breakfast is served in the classroom or served in kiosks where kids can grab their breakfasts on their way to class, school breakfast participation increases."

Statistics show that kids who eat breakfast in school have better attendance, better test scores and fewer discipline problems. As one school official put it, students can't be hungry to learn if they're just plain hungry.

According to the Food Research and Action Center, 320,000 more children nationwide ate a healthy breakfast at school last year than the year before. Today, said FRAC president Jim Weill, more than 11 million low-income kids eat breakfast at school.

"That's just hugely important," he said, "not just so kids are less hungry, but hugely important for their health, for their behavior in school, and for their ability to learn."

Virginia has more than 1,900 schools that offer breakfast, with 88 added just in the past school year. Now, Reed said, the state can work on getting more kids to take advantage of it.

"The good news," she said, "is that there are effective strategies available to make sure that all of our children have access to healthy, nutritious meals that will allow them to perform well in the classroom."

The first week in March is National School Breakfast Week.

More information is online at frac.org.


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