"I think it helps the students get their day started correctly," said Chris Thomas, parent. "It helped me out a lot, save a lot of money. They love it; they can choose what they want," said Roberta Stanton, whose children receive a free breakfast. The Washington County free breakfast program will allow nearly 7,000 students to eat for free every morning. "We know that students who eat breakfast do better in school and of course the whole nutritious aspect of it," said Gary Dodds, Washington County Food Service Program. The following schools are participating in the program: 1. Bester Elementary 2. Cascade Elementary 3. Fountaindale Elementary 4. Hancock Elementary 5. Hickory Elementary 6. Lincolnshire Elementary 7. Marshall Street School 8. Pangborn Elementary 9. Winter Street Elementary Four schools and one school-based program are new to the program this year: 1. Western Heights Middle 2. South Hagerstown High 3. Eastern Elementary 4. Salem Avenue Elementary 5. The Job Development Program at Marshall Street School "Breakfast is now linked in with maintaining a healthy weight, and now that the students have breakfast in the morning, theyre not as hungry in the afternoon, so they dont over eat in the afternoon," said Dodds. "We supply the free breakfast for the teachers, too. We think its a good encouragement for the students to see their teacher have a healthy breakfast too," said Dodds. School officials hope the free breakfast program will teach students the importance of not only being healthy but eating smart as well. Reported by Sharia Davis" "Local Band Makes It On "Star Tomorrow"