The second stop on our Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom storytelling tour was Frances C. Hammond Middle School in Alexandria, Virginia. After our trip to Austin ISD in Texas to see scratch-made kolaches prepared and served for breakfast-in-the-classroom, we traveled east to Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia, where we observed Hammond’s popular “Breakfast Ambassadors” program in action.
Snow was falling when we arrived at F.C. Hammond on a Thursday morning in mid-November. Though it was barely 6 a.m., school nutrition staff was already busy preparing breakfast and packing meals into bags and coolers for delivery. Soon students began to gather in the gym as they arrived for their school day.
Each bag and cooler at Hammond is assigned a cart number, then labeled with a teacher’s name and room number. Once packed, coolers and bags are loaded onto their assigned carts, and school nutrition staff transport carts to designated hallways. After students are released from the gym to their first morning class, each classroom’s “Breakfast Ambassadors” pick up their assigned bag and cooler and bring it to their classroom while the rest of the student body heads straight to class.
Stakeholders at F.C. Hammond developed the “Breakfast Ambassadors” program as an incentive and reward for students. Not only do students get excited about breakfast, and work to achieve “Breakfast Ambassador” status, other stakeholders see benefits as well. For example, because they are delivering carts to hallway stations rather than individual classrooms school nutrition staff can head back to the cafeteria sooner to start preparing school lunch. Student ambassadors also help distribute and clean up in the classroom, leaving teachers to focus on other tasks.
We want to extend our thanks to everyone at ACPS and ACPS Food Services for hosting our visit and welcoming our entire team. Thanks for the invitation to lunch, too—it was delicious!