Charter School Offers Award Winning Nutrition Program

The Learning Center! Charter School, designated an “A+ Fit School” by The North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund has always placed a strong emphasis on its nutrition and exercise programs. As a result, the school just received and impressive award from the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Southeast Regional Office of the USDA awarded winners of the Twentieth Annual “Best Practice Awards” in the categories of National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP) and Food Distribution Program (FDP). 


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The Learning Center, winner in the School Breakfast Program category, was one of only 3 winners in that category in the region. The others were in Tennessee and Georgia. It was also the only charter school to win the distinction in the region. The school won the award for the creation and implementation of the “Early Bird Breakfast Club,” which promotes universal free breakfast. The program was also recognized for coordinating activites and positive interaction between the school director, staff and students during breakfast.

The “Early Bird Breakfast Club,” netted two grants – one from No Kid Hungry North Carolina / Share Our Strength, and another from Action for Healthy Kids School Grants for Healthy Kids. The school has noted a 56% increase in breakfast participation since implementing Early Bird Breakfast Club.

Nutrition Director Susan Blomeley, and Debby Intemann, school dietician implemented “Early Bird Breakfast Club” in an effort to give every opportunity for all students to eat a healthy breakfast.

For all meals at The Learning Center, students eat healthy, freshly prepared food (served on real china and silverware) much of it from local sources. Over the past three years, the school has won numerous awards and recognition by the NC Dept. of Public Instruction (NC DPI) for its dedication to maintaining the highest standards in child nutrition:

2011– Award for Excellence-(Highest level awarded) Awarded to the Child Nutrition staff, the purpose of the award is to foster high standards of excellence across the state and to honor those school cafeterias that maintain high standards.

2012-Breakfast Champion Award-TLC! became the first charter school in NC to be presented a child nutrition award.

2012-Commendations from NC Dept. of Public Instruction for:

Child Nutrition staff providing great customer service and dedication to the overall nutrition of its students and preparing “excellent quality food with a variety of healthy menu items, including fabulous fresh, nutritious salad bar offered daily. The school was recognized for offering a universal breakfast program for all students.

2013-Performance-Based Reimbursement-The school successfully completed all requirements of performance-based reimbursement as prescribed in Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 and qualified for additional meal funding.

 To Learn more, visit the website (naturallygrownkids.org), blog (tlcgrowzone.org/blog) and FaceBook page (facebook.com/TLCGrowZonePage)

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