Learning Center! Receives USDA Award for Nutrition Program



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For a school who prides itself on dedication to good nutrition as the very foundation for building better students, it’s no surprise when they win awards. The latest was an impressive award presented to the school on October 24, by the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The award was presented at the 2013 NC Department of Public Instruction Annual Conference for Child Nutrition Administrators in Durham, NC.

The Learning Center! Charter School, designated an “A+ Fit School” in 2010 by The North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund, has always placed a strong emphasis on its nutrition and exercise programs. The Southeast Regional Office of the USDA awarded winners of theTwentieth Annual “Best Practice Awards” in the categories of National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and Food Distribution Program. Nominations were judged on sustained excellence, innovation, impact, cost effectiveness and efficiency, transferability, and presentation. A total of 24 awards were given in the southeast United States region.

The Learning Center, winner in the School Breakfast Program category, was one of only 3 winners in that category and 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.

Registered Dietitian, Susan Blomeley, and Debby Intemann, Nutrition Education Coordinator, implemented “Early Bird Breakfast Club” in an effort to give every opportunity for all students to eat a healthy breakfast. Blomeley noted, “We have seen a 56% increase in breakfast participation since implementing Early Bird Breakfast Club.”

Over the past three years, the school has won numerous awards and recognition by the NC Dept. of Public Instruction for its dedication to maintaining the highest standards in child nutrition.

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