Excellence in School Breakfast
February 21, 2013
Getting ready to celebrate National School Breakfast Week 2013, and came across a few excellent real-world examples of school breakfast practices and policies. They give true meaning to “Be a Star with School Breakfast”.
- “Food service director Mike Koch received a grant from the New England Dairy & Food Council to implement a universal classroom breakfast program during the 2006-07 school year. Breakfast participation increased from 42 to 72 percent. The program was so successful the district continued it after the grant ended. Northend Elementary School, New Britain, CT: ” School Breakfast: Key to Academic Excellence.
- “Can we eat now?” asked Jackson Middle School [Orlando, FL] sixth-grader Alexandria Johnson, sitting at a desk in the back row of Theresa Perreault’s classroom. “Because I’m hungry.” After getting a ‘yes,’ Alexandria pulled open the metallic wrapper holding a warm turkey sausage biscuit and bit off nearly half of the breakfast sandwich. In the few weeks since her school has begun offering breakfast in the classroom, Alexandria said she’s been eating every day and seeing a difference.’ Local Stories – Breakfast in the Classroom Program
- From a Letter to the Governor of Maryland: “As you know, MMFA is a national model for increasing access to the federal School Breakfast Program, with proven links to improved academic performance, health and behavior.1 It allows schools with at least 40 percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals to provide universal, in-classroom breakfast. In MMFA schools, the average participation in school breakfast is close to 70 percent, which is significantly higher than school breakfast participation in non-MMFA schools.2 Increasing participation in school breakfast is also a priority for the Governor’s Partnership to End Childhood Hunger.
As Interim Superintendent Sadusky testified at MSDE’s budget hearing in February 2012, “School breakfast is one key to our academic excellence in Maryland and will continue to play a role in our #1 national ranking.”5 We believe that MMFA is a critical support system that contributes to long term success by ensuring students start the school day ready to learn. In a recent survey, a majority of Maryland teachers saw children who were regularly coming to school hungry, with 65% of teachers reporting that school breakfast was extremely important to academic achievement, and 71% reporting they had a positive experience with an in-classroom breakfast program.6 As such, the MMFA program is an incorporation of the best practices in education – providing healthy meals in the classroom to children who are often experiencing hunger.” Maryland Meals For Achievement Joint Letter to Governor
- “The key strategies that school districts across the nation should adopt to expand breakfast participation among low-income students include:
- Implementing universal breakfast programs (i.e. breakfast at no charge) with effective district-wide promotion;
- Making breakfast a part of the school day through breakfast in the classroom and “grab and go” programs;
- Establishing administrative support and leadership in implementing programs; and
- Developing strong partnerships with anti-hunger organizations and state agencies.” School Breakfast in America’s Big Cities – FRAC Report
Be sure to visit our Healthy6 Breakfast page for Breakfast GO Power tips and resources all year long!
And parents, remember, you can be a Star with school-morning breakfast at home too…Breakfast GO Power Ideas for Children!