Meet Priyadarshini Kumar. The summer of 2018 found Priya, as she’s known, attending the Patriots Summer Training Camp. As part of a program to encourage child fitness and nutrition, the Patriots had invited teachers to Gillette Stadium. That day there was a prize Priya had her eye on: $1,500 to be used for a school breakfast smoothie machine.
Thanks to Priya going above and beyond, taking time out of her summer vacation for this event, hungry kids at Clarence E. Edwards Middle School in Boston can now fill up at their new smoothie machine.
Priya has gone above and beyond in her classroom as well. She noticed that disruptive behavior always seemed to spike around ten o'clock in the morning. Because acting out is often a symptom of hunger, she took a chance and used her own money to purchase granola bars for students to eat mid-morning. Lo and behold, the spike in negative behavior went down while student engagement and academic output went up!
Priya knows she’s found a solution to hunger that needs to be shared with the entire school, and plans to use the money she received from her Teacher Champion Award to begin a schoolwide snack program. As Priya tells us, “there is no reason why any child in the City of Boston should sit in a classroom with an empty stomach and suffer in silence.” We couldn’t agree more, Priya!
As one of Project Bread’s Teacher Champions, Blue Cross Blue Shield and the American Federation of Teachers-Massachusetts are happy to celebrate Priyadarshini and the eleven other winners.
Learn more about our 2019/20 Initiative to address hunger in the classroom with our partners and the other Teacher Champions fighting hunger in their schools.