St. Louis kids featured in Israeli nonprofit’s video

Nevi Chappell-Beattie is featured in a video  by Israeli nonprofit Nevet, which helps provide breakfast for Israeli schoolchildren from poor backgrounds.

By David Baugher, Special to the Jewish Light

Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day and two St. Louis area children have become part of a video to prove just how vital it can be.

“I feel like every kid should be able to have breakfast because when I don’t, I feel cranky and I don’t think anybody can do schoolwork when they’re cranky,” said Nevi Chappell-Beattie.

Nevi and Ari Litt, both age 9, were tapped to play roles in a promotional video for Nevet, an Israeli nonprofit that aims to help thousands of Israeli children who come from poor backgrounds and do not have a breakfast to take to school. The organization cites data showing that students get better grades if they receive a proper morning meal. It delivers sandwiches to 130 Israeli schools each day.

The video, which was put up on YouTube, is designed to help raise awareness and funds for the organization. It begins with three American children describing their own breakfasts.

“We learned all about the organization before she did it,” said Kalanit Chappell, Nevi’s mother. “I hope she realizes that even by doing something simple or small like making a video, which she thought was really fun, it can have an impact on what happens in the world. Hopefully, her small part in this educational video will inspire other people to participate in this organization which is such a good cause.”

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Nevi opens the piece by describing her breakfast, which consists not only of traditional items like waffles and a pear but also such unusual early morning fare as cashews and chips and salsa.

Admitting that her breakfast contained “the most random things ever,” she said she was glad to assist the group’s efforts.

“I really love that they feed kids who don’t get breakfast,” said the third grader from University City. “I really feel passionate about that.”

Kalanit Chappell said she had not been aware of the group prior to her daughter being a part of the video but quickly became enthused about its mission. 

“She had a great time,” said the Bais Abraham congregant. “I think it is fantastic.”

“When kids go to school hungry here, they can’t concentrate as well so I think it is a really great program they have to make sure the kids get a breakfast,” she added.

Fourth-grader Ari also put a lot of effort into displaying one of his favorite meals – waffles and strawberries.

“It is a yummy breakfast. It’s also pretty healthy and it’s a good to eat before school,” he noted.

His mother, Tegan Litt, said she became aware of the opportunity after going on an Aish trip to the Jewish State this summer.

“I hope he will see that, by him helping out, that he’s going to encourage others to give to this association to help give kids in Israel a breakfast who don’t have it,” said Litt, a B’nai Amoona congregant from Brentwood. “It also sparked a discussion that some kids don’t have breakfast every day before going to school and that was kind of eye-opening as well.”

The Spoede Elementary School student said it made him sad to think that children sometimes don’t have enough to eat and the project had caused him to think more about the issue of hunger. 

His mother says he now has a better understanding of how to help others.

“The smallest little thing that you do could actually have a big benefit to someone else,” she noted.

The minute-and-a-half video featuring the two St. Louisans can be found at http://bit.ly/nevet-video.