Dairy Council rewards Manatee Elementary


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Manatee Elementary students Demi Rieb, left, Jadon Gowins with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Earnest Graham Jr., who was on hand to help present the Dairy Council of Florida award to the school. Photo by Darrell Woehler

Manatee Elementary School in Viera is one of three schools in Florida to win a $2,500 award from the Dairy Council of Florida. 

The presentation, in the form of a mobile Breakfast Cart, was given to the school by Kayleigh Pratt and Diana Furey, representing the Dairy Council of Florida, at a school assembly Jan. 21.  

Also on hand to aid in the presentation and speak to the students on the benefits of a healthy breakfast start in the morning, was former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Earnest Graham Jr. 

The other two schools receiving this award were Rockledge High and Princeton Elementary in Orlando.

The cart enables the school to offer meals outside the traditional cafeteria service lines, allowing more students to have access to meals during breakfast and lunch. Cafeteria manager Susan Biggs was instrumental in getting Manatee Elementary to win the award by increasing the number of students eating breakfast.

Earnest Graham Jr. played for Tampa Bay for nearly 10 years after graduating from the University of Florida. He grabbed the students attention immediately by relating to them his background and how he was brought up. Besides a good breakfast, one must exhibit the correct attitude, exert the effort, and then have the energy to succeed.