Virginia's First Lady gets Lynchburg students excited about statewide breakfast challenge

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LYNCHBURG (WSLS 10) - It's said breakfast is the most important meal of the day and Lynchburg City Public Schools are embracing that message by participating in the Virginia Breakfast Challenge.

Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe visited Heritage Elementary School on Wednesday to kick off the statewide challenge.

Starting off the morning, she wasted no time bringing smiles to students at Heritage Elementary School. A healthy breakfast is exactly the message she's hoping send.

After touring the school's halls, the First Lady kicked off the Virginia Breakfast Challenge.

"It is so important to start the day off right with a healthy breakfast so we can concentrate and learn," said McAuliffe.

For the second full year, the school is participating in the challenge.

The state's ‘No Kid Hungry' campaign reports one in six kids struggle with hunger. This challenge aims to increase breakfast participation across Virginia and the Lynchburg''s 12 elementary schools.

At Heritage, students eat in the classroom for free; however, each school serves up breakfast a bit differently because not all schools participate in the state's free and reduced lunch program, which also covers breakfast.

Regardless, the message is the same.

"Making sure that, that breakfast opportunity is there is so important for all children across the commonwealth," said McAuliffe.

She added studies prove a good breakfast leads to higher SOL scores and graduation rates. Since the program started at Heritage, Principal Sharon Anderson said she's noticed change.

"We do not have discipline issues in the morning," said Anderson. "We used to have discipline issues in the cafeteria because the students had to stand in line for such a long time."

And further promoting the message, Reggie Barlow, who was part of the Super Bowl XXXVII Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, got kids excited to eat a healthy first meal.

The challenge officially starts October 1 and schools have the chance to compete for prizes based on participation.