Stakeholders will be gathered in Phoenix, Arizona this weekend for the statewide Breakfast-in-the-Classroom summit, to discuss the expansion of school breakfast in Arizona’s high-need schools. It’s an incredible opportunity for school nutrition professionals in Arizona to learn more about breakfast-in-the-classroom, to hear from their peers who have successfully implementing BIC, and to network with state-level partners as well as the original Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom: Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), the National Association of Elementary School Principals Foundation (NAESPF), the National Education Association Health Information Network (NEA HIN), and the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF).
Along with the original partners, we’ll be joined by state-level representatives from Arizona: the Arizona Department of Education, the Arizona Education Association, the Arizona School Nutrition Association, the Association of Arizona Food Banks, the Dairy Council of Arizona, and the Valley of the Sun United Way. Thanks to a $5 million grant from the Walmart Foundation, Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom has raised the profile for BIC in public schools. By stressing the importance of universal breakfast that is served in the classroom, rather than the cafeteria, breakfast-in-the-classroom has also been transformed by the partners’ initiative with the goal of improving participation in the federally-funded School Breakfast Program and its role in improving student learning outcomes and health.
Summit attendees are under no obligations to apply for a Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom grant, and are invited to bring along their questions and concerns about BIC. “The summits are an opportunity to bring peers from across each state together—administrators, school nutrition professionals, and community health and hunger advocates,” explained Elizabeth Campbell, foodservice consultant for the Partners initiative. “Our goal with the summits is threefold: One, highlight and showcase schools in the state that are already doing BIC, so folks can see how it’s already being done; two, talk about and explain the benefits of BIC, and why it’s such an important project for the partners; three, get the attendees all the information they need in order to make a decision whether or not to apply for grant funds.”
Summit attendees will learn more about the grant in greater detail; in addition to assessments and action plans, there will be information on stakeholder engagement strategies and staff training for breakfast-in-the-classroom. Summit attendees and potential grant applicants will also receive technical assistance in the weeks following the summit to address questions about the process; once a letter of intent is received from a district, Campbell will provide one-on-one assistance for the directors in the selected schools. “I will be at these summits, giving a brief overview of the suggested steps of the assessment plan,” explained Campbell. “We’ll have additional webinars, offered widely, after grants funds have been distributed but based on feedback we get during the early phase as folks go through the implementation process.”
For more information, or to find out if your state is eligible for the next round of Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom grants, visit the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom website.