School feeding programs in low- and middle-income countries tend to focus on school attendance and literacy. Some evidence suggests that bolstering schools as a nexus of community plays an important psychosocial function for children and families. This study examines the extent to which childhood literacy rates are associated with parents’ and teachers’ perceptions of community violence and cohesion, following participation in a large-scale school feeding program in the Department of Intibucá, Honduras. Primary school children (n = 3,147) from 176 schools completed standardized literacy tests. Scores were linked to parents’ (n = 328) and teachers’ (n = 537) responses about community cohesion and violence. Social bonding among parents was positively associated with children’s literacy. Community violence reported by teachers exerted a negative influence. The authors discuss these results in light of how vertically focused interventions such as school feeding can be integrated to account for the specific contextual factors that affect, and are affected by, the program itself.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.