Welcome to the Resources Roundup! In this series, the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom take a look at some of the most powerful resources available to help school nutrition professionals make the case for breakfast-in-the-classroom in their school or district. Experts agree that a data-driven approach is the most effective: whether you’re trying to convince a reluctant principal, or a room full of skeptical classroom teachers, it pays to do your homework—and show your work!
Today is the fourth and final installment in this series (for now!); don’t miss our first, second, and third installments in the series: The Wellness Impact, FRAC’s Breakfast Scorecard & Large District Report, and SNA/SNF School Breakfast Resources.
We’re excited to share today’s Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom Toolkit, brought to us by NEA Healthy Futures (previously NEA HIN). Developed specifically to instruct teachers and other school professionals about the impact hunger has on learning, the NEA Healthy Futures Breakfast in the Classroom Toolkit will help you communicate how BIC can help increase breakfast participation and address hunger in schools, which in turn can improve academic and behavioral outcomes for students.
About NEA Healthy Futures
Previously known as NEA Health Information Network (NEA HIN), NEA Healthy Futures is a nonprofit organization affiliated with NEA which provides health and wellness solutions, advocacy tools, and funding and resource opportunities for NEA members and the educational community. If you didn’t know about their recent rebranding, make sure you visit the new NEA Healthy Futures website, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. We love the new look!
Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom Toolkit
Now we’ll take a quick look inside the NEA Healthy Futures Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom Toolkit, which you can download in PDF form and distribute.
The toolkit opens up with fact sheets on the importance of breakfast, particularly for children; hungry children act out and have difficulty focusing, and breakfast in the classroom is an excellent tool to address those issues. Presenting teachers with data on how breakfast in the classroom benefits their students and their learning environment can be very persuasive.
Next you’ll find a fact sheet that breaks down the School Breakfast Program, Provision 2, and the Community Eligibility Provision. You will have to make a sound economic case for a sustainable BIC program, and this sheet will help you get started.
We find that folks have trouble “envisioning” breakfast in the classroom, so the third fact sheet lays out the different delivery models: Grab and Go, Second Chance, Vending, and Classroom, as well as the traditional cafeteria model. One of the most important things to know about breakfast in the classroom is that it is not a “one-size-fits-all” model; it’s flexible to make it easier to implement and maintain in the long term. (Sometimes a field trip to a school that is already doing BIC is helpful for hesitant stakeholders as well!)
The toolkit continues with fact sheets addressing common questions about breakfast in the classroom, as well as a brief breakdown of the roles of various stakeholders; teachers, as well as custodians and school nutrition staff. The key to the success of breakfast in the classroom is early stakeholder engagement. When everyone feels heard, when challenges have been presented and addressed, when everyone has a chance to review the best available data in order to make the best decision for the students—that’s how breakfast in the classroom becomes a sustainable program.
The NEA Healthy Futures Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom Toolkit is available free online. If you have questions or concerns, or if you live in a state where we are currently accepting grant applications, we encourage you to contact us—drop us a line at the website, or a message on our Facebook page. And don’t forget to follow Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom on Twitter.