When we help schools implement breakfast-in-the-classroom they cite a variety of reasons for wanting to move breakfast out of the cafeteria, including:
- Increasing access to/participation in school breakfast
- Improving morning logistical and/or behavioral issues
- Reducing absences and tardies
Improving outcomes for students is what breakfast-in-the-classroom is all about, and among our favorite outcomes are the unexpected kind! Over the years we’ve discovered every stakeholder has a story about an exciting albeit unexpected outcome resulting from BIC. Today we’re going to share a few of our favorites to help you illustrate the benefits of BIC to stakeholders in your school or district.
School Nutrition Staff: Surplus of Labor Hours
On our first visit to Austin ISD cafeteria manager Oleydis Padilla told us moving breakfast to the classroom resulted in more labor hours for her school nutrition staff, as well as a smoother transition between breakfast and lunch service.
A persistent myth about breakfast-in-the-classroom is that it will wreak havoc on your schedule and labor costs. In reality, breakfast-in-the-classroom offers opportunities to improve your program’s bottom line, increase employees’ labor hours, and move more efficiently into the day’s lunch service.
Teachers: A Closer Connection with Students
Breakfast-in-the-classroom gives Austin ISD first grade teacher Patty Candelaria the opportunity to get to know her students in new ways. Not only does BIC offer small, teachable moments around etiquette and table manners, it gives Candelaria a chance to learn students’ food preferences and gauge their mood before the day starts.
Leadership Lessons: Student Empowerment
When we sat down with a team of teachers and administrators from F.C. Hammond Middle School the enthusiasm for breakfast-in-the-classroom was unanimous. Communication and transparency at every step—from planning to implementation—helped teachers feel “heard” and invested in the outcome of the program. F.C. Hammond teachers worked with students to improve cleanup processes, teaching “community, responsibility, and accountability…very empowering.”
Speed-Scratch + Local Ingredients
Local produce served during breakfast-in-the-classroom? It might sound crazy, but moving to an offer-versus-serve (OVS) menu allowed Clarke County, Alabama to procure local fruit at a more affordable price—and yes, the students love it!
Similarly, our friends in Charleston County School District, South Carolina have increased opportunities to test scratch/speed-scratch menu items like their famous (and famously popular) chicken biscuit sandwich and their new “Ba-Da-Bing” breakfast bowl with grits, cheese, and bacon.