LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation has committed to giving $200,000 to the School Fuel program, which provides universal breakfast to nearly half a million students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Dodger outfielder Andre Ethier will join a 6th grade math and science class at Nightingale Middle School during first period Friday to share breakfast with them and talk about healthy habits and the importance of succeeding in school. All students in the class will also receive four tickets to a pre-selected game this season, courtesy of LADF.
“As a parent, I know how important it is to me and my wife Maggie to provide our two kids with nutritious meals daily starting with breakfast,” he said. “School Fuel is a crucial program for LA schools, and I look forward to seeing how it works firsthand when I visit with the 6th graders at Nightingale Middle School tomorrow morning. It’s also important to me to encourage kids to do well in school, which I plan to do tomorrow, too.”
In partnership with the LA Fund For Public Education, the LADF’s support of the School Fuel program will continue through the 2014-2015 school year and will include classroom distribution of 24 million breakfast trays and more than six million Dodger milk cartons per month featuring Ethier, Carl Crawford, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
“LADF strongly believes that children who are healthy can achieve far greater results in the classroom than those who are unhealthy and lack basic nutrition,” Dodger owner and LADF board member Earvin “Magic” Johnson said. “We are thrilled to announce our support of the School Fuel program, a collaboration that has the potential to impact the lives of more than 650,000 LAUSD students and their families.”
In 2012, the LA Fund, in partnership with LAUSD, launched the School Fuel initiative with the Breakfast in the Classroom program to eliminate the stigma associated with receiving free or reduced-cost breakfast. Before breakfast in the classroom began, only 29 percent of all LAUSD students eligible for free or reduced-cost breakfast participated and now there are more than 360,000 students who enjoy the breakfast in the classroom program, an increase of more than 200,000 students.
“We are so grateful for this partnership with LADF, and we know that their involvement will give students another reason to be excited about sharing a meal in their classroom community,” said Megan Chernin, education activist and CEO of the LA Fund. “With this new partnership we will be able to grow School Fuel, create educational materials for students and parents and continue to support LAUSD teachers’ efforts to help students develop healthy habits for life.”