Breakfast-in-the-classroom is both a solution to problems (like hunger and obesity) and a way to enhance the school day through a shared meal with teachers and classmates. During our National School Breakfast Week celebration we have heard from so many of you–through the blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter–about all the varied reasons you support breakfast-in-the-classroom programs. Among them*:
- Kids do better in math, averaging 17.5 percent higher on test scores
- Fewer absences, as kids who eat school breakfast average more than 1.5 more days attendance per year
- More attendance + higher math scores = 20 percent more likely to graduate
Teachers and administrators cite behavior and academic improvements. Parents report kids who are eager to get to school in the morning, while kids who have access to breakfast-in-the-classroom talk about how much they enjoy the atmosphere BIC creates. School nutrition staff cite improved participation rates when breakfast-in-the-classroom is implemented, and some schools also see an increase in lunch participation when breakfast-in-the-classroom is implemented. Teachers turn this time into an opportunity for additional instruction, tying in nutrition lessons with math, history, or science; there are opportunities to talk about good table manners as well.
There are also important health benefits to breakfast-in-the-classroom. Time and again we hear from school nurses and principals who report that tardiness, absences, and trips to the nurses office decrease after breakfast-in-the-classroom is implemented. During our trip to Cochran Elementary School in Jefferson County (Ky.), we spoke to their school nurse, Sherry, about what she has observed since implementing breakfast-in-the-classroom:
Back in December, SNF Senior Program Manager Paula Zdanowicz, MPH, spoke with school nurse at Ellis Elementary in Denver (CO), Stacy Dorian who also expressed support for breakfast-in-the-classroom:
Looking for resources to help you implement or expand a breakfast-in-the-classroom program? Use the list below to get started! Presenting the health, academic, and social benefits of school breakfast to your principals and administrators is important, and an important tool in building the coalition you need to get breakfast-in-the-classroom off and running.
School Nutrition Foundation “Webinar Wednesday” Archives
- Successful Accountability Practices for Breakfast in the Classroom
- Bring on Breakfast: News You Can Use for the Success of Your Breakfast Program