Lt. Governor Brown Joins Samuel Chase Elementary Fifth Graders for Breakfast During National School Breakfast Week
Brown highlights O’Malley-Brown commitment to end childhood hunger by 2015
TEMPLE HILLS, Md. (March 8, 2010) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, joined by Lawrence Fryer, Jr., Chief Operating Officer of Prince George’s Co. Public Schools, and Rosemary King Johnston, Executive Director of Governor’s Office for Children, visited students, teachers and faculty today at Samuel Chase Elementary School in Temple Hills to celebrate National School Breakfast Week and highlight efforts Maryland is taking to end childhood hunger and improve student performance. During his visit, Brown had breakfast with Mrs. Adriane Hendrix’s fifth grade students who participate in the Maryland Meals for Achievement Program and will begin Maryland School Assessment testing tomorrow.
“We have the best schools in America for the second year in a row because we know that our students deserve the very best education and learning environment that we can possibly provide, which means making significant improvements each and every year,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “Every student should start off every school day with a nutritious meal. Sadly, though, more than 200,000 Maryland children do not have reliable access to food. That is why Governor O’Malley and I have forged partnerships with our schools through programs like Maryland Meals for Achievement to end childhood hunger in Maryland by 2015.”
Today marks the commencement of National School Breakfast Week, an initiative launched in 1989 by the School Nutrition Association to raise awareness of the availability of the School Breakfast Program (SBP) to all children. The National School Breakfast Program fuels more than 10.6 million students for success. The program is both critical to maintaining the health and well-being of children who are eligible for free or reduced price meals, and it provides an alternative for children who don’t want to eat breakfast at home.
In 2008, Governor O’Malley announced a goal to end childhood hunger in Maryland by 2015 and he established a partnership with Share our Strength and the Governor’s Office for Children. These partners convened a group of organizations, agencies and stakeholders from the national, state and local levels, representing both private and public sectors, to develop and implement a strategy to end childhood hunger in Maryland, including food and nutrition initiatives like the MMFA program, in Maryland’s schools.
“The Governor, Lt. Governor and each of the dedicated partners involved in this initiative have been diligent in their collaborative efforts to ensure the Partnership achieves its mission of ending childhood hunger in Maryland by 2015,” said Executive Director Johnston. “While steady progress has been made toward achieving our goals, we recognize that there is more work to be done and more progress to be made. We are certain that the collaboration demonstrated through the Governor's Partnership to End Childhood Hunger and the continued commitment of our partners will ensure that our efforts make a difference in the daily lives of Maryland's children, youth and their families.”
In 1998, Maryland launched the Maryland Meals for Achievement (MMFA) program in several elementary schools. MMFA provides students, regardless of family income, with breakfast in the classroom each morning. Under State law, any school that participates in the federal School Breakfast Program and has at least 40 percent of enrollment approved for free or reduced-price meals can apply to become an MMFA school. The current budget contains more than $2.8 million for 196 schools to participate and provides more than 56,000 meals each morning.
For the second straight year, Education Week has ranked Maryland’s public schools as the best in America. In addition, the College Board ranked Maryland’s high schools No. 1 in the nation for Advanced Placement participation and achievement for the second year in a row. Since passing the Bridge to Academic Excellence in 2002, test scores across the state are up in every county and in every grade. Samuel Chase Elementary School reports four consecutive years that students have met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) across all demographic categories. In 2005, only 42 percent of Samuel Chase fifth graders scored proficient or better in math and 47 percent scored proficient or better in reading. Last year, nearly 80 percent of fifth graders scored proficient or better in both math and reading.
Since taking office, the O’Malley-Brown Administration has invested record funding in public K-12 education, including a proposed $5.7 billion for FY2011. In addition, the administration has invested over $1 billion in school construction in just three years, $178 million more than the previous administration invested in four full years.