By Mark Bishop, Vice President of Policy and Communications
School food advocate and HSC friend Mrs. Q (best known as the anonymous teacher who ate school lunch every day for a year) recently posted about her experiences with breakfast in the classroom. She posted photos of what her school is serving, which I think looked alright -- maybe not what I’d serve at home, but nothing that would make me upset to have my son eat. Her post offered a great teacher’s perspective on this program. And she echoed some of the issues that I’ve heard from others. She wrote:
'Breakfast in the classroom' arrived this spring. I gave it some time and I can say that I'm happy about it. I've also talked to a lot my coworkers. There was initially some resistance among staff members, but it seems like that melted away quickly.
She writes about a few of the positives, including:
- The kids love it -- How great is it to walk into school and get food? The kids have big smiles on their faces when they are carrying their paper bags and milk to their classrooms.
- This is their breakfast -- Most of the kids I chatted with weren't getting breakfast at home.
- Kids can refuse -- Some kids don't take the breakfast bag (I was concerned it would be forced on them) and I was happy to see that. . . .
- Fewer complaints of hunger -- Kids aren't saying they are hungry mid-morning. Huge win.
She touches on her other considerations and mentions that she and other staff at her school believe that Breakfast in the Classroom will boost academic performance. Take a look at her full post here.
Breakfast in the classroom does sound hard at first -- it takes time, resources, logistics and focus. But what we’ve seen is that when it’s implemented, most of the concerns “melt away,” as Mrs. Q put it. You are left with a program that ensures that hungry kids get the food they need and are better prepared to learn for the day.
Plus: If you’re in Chicago, you can show your support for breakfast in the classroom here!