One of the biggest challenges we face when we are introducing the concept of breakfast-in-the-classroom is dispelling commonly-held misconceptions about the program.
Addressing these misconceptions opens up the channels of communication between potential stakeholders; helps build relationships and coalitions, and results in the implementation of successful breakfast-in-the-classroom programs. Some of the misconceptions we hear most often include:
- Breakfast-in-the-classroom is messy
- Breakfast-in-the-classroom is too noisy and chaotic, especially for younger children
- Breakfast-in-the-classroom cuts into instructional time
Time after time, in one breakfast-in-the-classroom program after another, these myths have been dispelled. Processes for distribution and cleanup are fast and efficient; the children enjoy a relaxing period at the beginning of their day while teachers perform administrative tasks or instruct mini-lessons; children are afforded the opportunity to socialize and learn about the art of sharing a meal together.
We loved this recent article “Commentary: In-class breakfast a promising innovation” by Robert Reichardt, the former director of the Center for Education Policy Analyst at CU-Denver’s School of Public Affairs, currently the president of R-Squared Research, LLC. In his article Mr. Reichardt confronts these misconceptions about breakfast-in-the-classroom, while acknowledging that there are always going to be unique challenges that each school will have to address. He also talks about the academic benefits students enjoy when they have access to breakfast-in-the-classroom: improved test scores, attendance, and grades. And Mr. Reichardt does not fail to mention the impact of breakfast-in-the-classroom in the fight against childhood hunger—a crucial function of all school feeding programs.
Are you interested in starting a breakfast-in-the-classroom program at your school? Check out our Breakfast in the Classroom Resource Center for help with finances, menu planning, coalition building, marketing, and more.