It’s hard to learn when you’re hungry. And kids can’t get five servings of fresh fruits or vegetables a day if no one sells them in their neighborhood. Our bodies need good food, fresh air and plenty of exercise to power them. Our brains need less TV time and more books, board games and hands-on activities. Our hearts and our spirits need more conversations and connections with caring, competent adults. School days and years need to be longer, not shorter, so kids have more time to learn the vast amount of knowledge and skills required today. Class sizes need to smaller, not larger, so teachers can individualize instruction for more students. Children who struggle to learn need the best teachers. Schools with the most challenges need the nation’s top principals. Yet many of the students we serve in our public schools, particularly those most impacted by poverty, aren’t getting enough of any of these. Then we wonder why they’re not all on grade level? Children are incredibly resilient. They can overcome any obstacle. But they need more help from the adults in their lives, in their schools and in their communities.
Poor nutrition and learning