We’ve had some time to reflect on our ANC 2015 experience, and as usual we are bursting with fresh new ideas for the coming school year. Before we turn to what lies ahead, we wanted to take a few moments to share some of what we took away from this year’s Annual National Conference. (Miss the conference? No problem–you can access the online presentation materials through the School Nutrition Association website.)
Overheard at ANC 2015
We have to make a little confession here—we did a little eavesdropping during the conference! Some of our favorite lines include the following:
- “I have a principal that isn’t all that excited about breakfast-in-the-classroom, but I intend to get him excited if it’s the last thing I do!” – Overheard in between Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom education sessions.
- “Okay. Howie Long. I can go home now! I mean I won’t, but … wow. He’s handsome.” – Overheard as the former NFL player and Pro Football Hall of Famer left the stage after delivering the opening keynote during the first general session.
- “I had absolutely no idea, at all, I could get a scholarship through SNF. I’m doing it!” – Overheard after a visit to the SNF booth to make a donation to the Annual Fund.
Reflections on Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom Education Sessions
We also wanted to share some thoughts from our Partners for BIC education sessions. Held back-to-back, we were able to share our breakfast-in-the-classroom journey with many ANC attendees, and we also had the opportunity to hear from you—school nutrition professionals who are working to implement and expand access to school breakfast for students around the country.
Annelise Cohon, Senior Program Coordinator, NEA Healthy Futures
After our session one woman came up to me and explained that she was working to help a large school district roll-out Breakfast in the Classroom and that she was looking for information on how to support educators and school staff in the implementation process. She told me that she appreciated hearing about all of the free resources and technical assistance the Partners offer and was excited to get a copy of our BIC Toolkit to adapt for her school district to use. This interaction reminded me of the power of networking and sharing knowledge. The Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom are all about assisting schools and school districts succeed in their alternative breakfast programs. It was great to see so many individuals coming up after the session to talk with us and share their stories from the field and lessons learned.
Jason Carter, Assistant Director of Child Nutrition, Rogers Public Schools
I was encouraged to see all of the interest in BIC. We think it is a great program and it does so much to benefit our students aside from getting them nutrition. It provides a very important social experience with the teacher and the students in a family meal type setting. It also keeps them in the classroom and engaged in the lesson along with many other benefits. Each year at ANC I see the BIC crowd get larger and that is good news for the youngest of our future leaders.
I also attended the professional standards breakout session. I wasn’t crazy about these regulations when they were first proposed, mainly because I fall into the category of needing more education to advance as a Director, but I am coming around on them. I can now see the spirit of what USDA is trying to accomplish and like the new meal pattern requirements, the transition is going to be challenging. In the long run these standards should help strengthen our profession by bringing in new talents and new ideas.
Click to read our previous interview with Jason on breakfast-in-the-classroom.
Elizabeth Campbell, RD Consultant, Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom
I always feel reenergized when I leave ANC and this time was no different. I met so many dedicated child nutrition professionals who are really interested in serving children breakfast and know that BIC is really the best way to improve participation. This year was unique for me because I spent some time on the exhibit floor and many of the equipment and food companies were well educated on the movement to BIC and were interested in getting to know ways they can support schools. That tells me we are really moving the needle on breakfast.
Christina Uticone: SNF & Partners for BIC Social Media Coordinator and Beyond Breakfast Blogger
Every time I attend an ANC I come away even more impressed with the dedication displayed by school nutrition professionals. The attendance at our Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom education sessions was tremendous, which illustrates the incredible growth in popularity of the program. The ensuing presentation and discussion was fascinating, and I know I came away inspired to do more to effectively communicate the benefits of BIC through my writing and social media efforts.
On the Foundation side, I loved meeting the members who volunteered their time to raise money for the Annual Fund at the SNF booth. What a great idea by our Director of Fundraising, Janet Hedrick, and a wonderful opportunity to increase awareness of the Annual Fund. I’m in the process of interviewing many of our scholarship and award winners, and look forward to bringing you their stories in coming weeks.