HAMILTON, Ohio - Riverview Elementary in Hamilton was given a "high poverty" rating on the annual report card given by the Ohio Department of Education.
Despite its limited financial resources, the 3-year-old school was rated "effective" during its first year of operation and most recently has been upgraded to the "excellent" rating by the state.
Riverview's principal, Mary Anne Hughes, attributes the improved rating to the fact students at the school have full bellies.
All 715 students at Riverview Elementary participate in the state's free or reduced lunch program.
"They have free breakfast. They have their lunch. If they stay for intervention after school they have a snack," Hughes said. "So obviously by giving them the nutrients they need in their body, that's also helping their brain and it's obvious in our test scores."
Hughes did point out that the recipe for a well-balanced education includes more than making sure students are fed and have books to read.
"In order for them to do well academically, we have to meet their needs: emotional, mental, and physical," Hughes said.
Hughes stated her entire staff -- from teachers to custodian to cooks -- is there to teach the children.
Whether it comes in the form of helping a student with what to eat or answering an algebra question, the faculty at Riverview Elementary is helping to satiate the students' academic cravings.
Click here to see the Ohio Department of Education's grade card on Riverview Elementary.
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