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Got Milk? The students at Tompkins School do.

Since receiving a $2,000 grant from DuPont Crop Protection, 8:50 a.m. Monday to Friday is now dairy o'clock.

"Some of our students actually get up quite early and ride the bus quite a ways to come in, and they often are kind of hungry before we even get to snack time," said Tompkins School Principal Tracey Stenson. "So what we do is we provide them each with a milk, if they would like, in the morning during independent reading time. And they're able to enjoy their milk and try and get their day started off right by having some extra food in their belly."

The grant proposal was sent out in June, and Stenson said the school plans to keep free milk on the menu for students through to the end of the school year.

Stenson said the money should get them through until around February or March, but she thinks it'll last until the summer break. If the grant money does run out, the school plans on doing fundraising to keep the program running.

There's plenty of calcium and protein in milk, so there are certainly benefits on kids' physical health, and there's some research suggesting it can have a positive effect on the cognitive side of things as well.

"It's a long day for little kids - which we have here - and just kind of keeping them going, and not having other distractions like if they're hungry or thirsty in the mornings, right when it's optimal learning time seems to be helping," said Stenson. "We don't have those wondering as much when snack time is going to be."

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