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In Fall 1998, the Maryland State Department of Education and six local school systems started a pilot program to evaluate the impact of serving breakfast to students in the classroom as part of the school day. Students in participating schools have an opportunity to eat breakfast in their classroom each day at no charge, regardless of family income. The program, called Maryland Meals for Achievement (MMFA), has expanded to include 11 test schools and 11 control schools for the 1999-2000 school year. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School are evaluating the program's effectiveness in improving students' academic performance and other outcomes, such as attendance and behavior. Findings thus far include the following: (1) academic performance improves; (2) school attendance improves; (3) student attention improves; (4) behavior problems decrease; (5) students feel better; (6) more students eat breakfast every day; (7) eating in the classroom versus the cafeteria has unique benefits; (8) many students may be undernourished; (9) parents, students, and staff like the program; and (10) program costs are lower than expected. (Includes demographics, a menu description, and a summary of related research.) (EV)

Descriptors: Breakfast Programs, Elementary Secondary Education, Program Descriptions, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, State Programs, Student Improvement

Maryland State Department of Education, Nutrition and Transportation Services Branch, 200 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. Tel: 410-767-0199; e-mail: sterry[at]

Autor: Terry, Sheila G.; Kerry, Kimberly


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