Governor Sandoval Signs 'Breakfast After the Bell' into Law - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Governor Sandoval Signs 'Breakfast After the Bell' into Law

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Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed new legislation into law this morning that would provide breakfast to thousands of students who go to school hungry. The program is called "Breakfast After the Bell."  Teachers say it's a step forward in improving learning in the Silver State.

This week, students at Anderson Elementary School enjoyed a quick breakfast before classes started. Something thousands of kids in Nevada were not able to enjoy, until now.

On Friday, the Governor, his family and state leaders gathered in Mrs. Maloy's classroom to sign the "Breakfast After the Bell" bill. It will allow 123 schools to be eligible for the program which gives more than 93,000 kids the ability to have breakfast in the mornings, who would otherwise go hungry.

"You want every child to have that opportunity and you know it's not their fault if they come to school hungry,” said Governor Sandoval. "The state is going to invest $2 million which will allow another $15 million in federal investment so the day will be here where every child will have breakfast at the bell."

Schools with 70% of students receiving free and reduced lunches will be able to apply for grants through the program to pay for the food.

According to a study done by Share Our Strength -- students who eat breakfast attend school more often and score 17.5% higher on standardized math tests. Teachers, like Mrs. Maloy say they already see a big difference in the classroom with kids who eat a healthy breakfast. "If they don't eat properly, they're not able to think and they're not able to function and that truly impacts their learning,” said Patti Maloy.

There's been an attempt in the past to create a similar law, but it never went through. We talked with the Director of the Department of Agriculture, Jim Barbee, who says this legislation was more flexible with schools, which allowed it to pass. "It gives the school district an opportunity to determine how they provide the breakfast. It can be after the bell, in an assembly type lunchroom-cafeteria type setting. Or it can be in the classroom,” said Barbee.

With the new law, political leaders and educators say more improvement will be seen in the classroom. "We want every child to be able to start their day out in a positive way and have food in their stomach so that they can learn better, they can play better and they can be happy,” said Sandoval.

The news student breakfast law goes into effect this fall.
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