PIQUA — With programs like the Principal Breakfast of Champions, Piqua Central Intermediate School’s staff has proven they are champions of their students’ well-being.
By providing food through the aforementioned program, as well as through the Grab-n-Go and Second Chance programs, PCIS is devoted to ensuring that every child starts the day with a healthy meal.
Their efforts have paid off manifold, most recently in the form of an award from the Ohio School Breakfast Challenge (OSBC) given to Lois Wion, administrative assistant at PCIS.
“I don’t feel like it’s a personal award for me, but for the school,” said Wion, who was named a 2017 School Breakfast Champion by the OSBC. “I’m excited our school got it because we’ve worked hard to make sure our students are being fed.”
Wion said she appreciated being nominated for the award by PCIS Principal Josh Kauffman, “but it’s just awesome for our school that we got state acknowledgement.”
The OSBC lauded PCIS for its innovative school breakfast model, and the school was one of just eight in Ohio to earn the inaugural award and one of the top three urban schools in the state to receive it. An awards ceremony was held May 16 at the Ohio Board of Education in Columbus.
“(The ceremony) was very nice. They had people from various organizations and everyone that was nominated talked about what they did for their schools,” Wion said.
She also emphasized that food programs are not just for children who receive free and reduced-price lunches, or those unable to eat breakfast at home for whatever reason, but for all students, a sentiment echoed by Kauffman.
“We want to remove the stereotype that (school) breakfast is just for people who can’t get breakfast at home,” Kauffman said. “We’re trying to draw attention to the fact that when kids start the day with a healthy meal, they’re better able to function and student achievement increases.”
Kauffman said the award means a lot to PCIS because of the effort that goes into programs like Breakfast of Champions, which rewards students who earn straight A’s for the quarter; Grab-n-Go, which provides healthy snack bags for tardy students; and Second Chance, in which kids can come back from homeroom to receive meals.
“We’re just trying to encourage kids to know that there should never be a day when they’re starting a day without breakfast,” Kauffman said. “All of our schools do that.”
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341