Wednesday, September 25 marked an important day on the early school calendar.
It wasn’t the day of the year’s first math test or even the first field trip. But the cause was just as important and brought fun and smiles to kids across our region and all over the globe.
It was World School Milk Day, where schools, educators, parents and children celebrate the vital health, wellness and educational roles milk and its essential nutrients play in a student’s day.
This year, the American Dairy Association North East was on hand for the festivities at Rochester School 43 in Rochester, New York.
Amid the fun of the excitement, teachers took time to share their thoughts on the day and its meaning. After all, outside of the student, they see the closest impact.
“We’ve noticed, the kids, as soon as they eat their breakfast and have their milk, they are more alert, they’re more active and they’re ready to learn,” one teacher said. “And it only takes minutes.”
“This is very telling of how much they enjoy milk,” another teacher said while pointing to a chart the students made of the flavors of milk they drink. “They enjoy it and they want to have it.”
We were also joined by school board officials, local dignitaries and former Buffalo Bills punter Brian Moorman, who appeared on behalf of the Bills and the NFL’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program.
“We all know breakfast is an important part of the day,” Rochester School Nutrition Director Dele Akinniyi told Spectrum News Rochester. “Having breakfast in the classroom makes it easier for our kids to access. We bring it to them. They can enjoy it in a calm environment to they can be ready to learn.
“Milk is a big part of these breakfasts. It helps with growth and strong bones. But, at the same time, nutritionally, we have to provide them meals they’re going to enjoy eat, milk included.”
Kids in attendance were treated to goodies, including milk moustaches they could wear all day and, of course, milk itself – both white and chocolate.
They even created cow-themed hats to wear throughout the day.
This school is only one example of those that celebrated World School Milk Day.
American Dairy Association North East is one of 16 state and regional promotion organizations working under the umbrella of the United Dairy Industry Association. It is the local affiliate of the National Dairy Council®, which has been conducting nutrition education and nutrition research programs since 1915. For more information, visit www.americandairy.com.