• 54°

Schools to ace hunger test

It’s Education 101: Kids should be hungry for knowledge, not for food.
That’s a class Elizabethton’s elementary schools will pass with perfect marks.
Students in kindergarten through fifth grade in the Elizabethton City School system will soon have breakfast and lunch provided to them for no charge.
The Elizabethton Board of Education unanimously approved enacting the Community Eligibility Program at East Side, Harold McCormick and West Side elementaries and the Early Learning Center for the 2014-2015 school year.
“This is a wonderful thing,” said Superintendent Ed Alexander. “Everyone here knows that a hungry child can’t do the work they need to do.”
The Community Eligibility Program was established in the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The program offers breakfast and lunch meals at no charge to all students in school with high percentages of low-income students.
Schools are reimbursed for the cost of meals for the free and reduced lunch students, which will help make up the cost of providing the free meals to all the students. Through the program, students will only pay if they request extra servings.
Alexander said the goal was to have the program available for all students from kindergarten to 12th grade.
“I think it will happen,” he said.
The board also unanimously approved a federally-mandated 10-cent lunch price increase for the junior high and senior high school students. Prices will now be $2.35 for junior high school regular price lunches and $2.50 for senior high school regular price lunches. Free and reduced price lunches will remain unchanged.