To celebrate the publication of Proceedings of the Learning Connection Summit: Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Student Achievement, I’m offering a short daily post during February on the ABCs of the health and academics.
C is for CLASSROOM
As they say in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. Many educators and school administrators are asking if a classroom is the right location for a school breakfast. The answer from superintendents, principals, teachers and students across the country is a resounding YES. From reading the research, visiting the schools and talking with stakeholders, these are the top four reasons that I’m a big believer in – and booster for – breakfast in the classroom (BIC), sometimes called breakfast after the bell.
- Serving breakfast in the classroom is a proven strategy for increasing breakfast participation. The Food Research and Action Center’s (FRAC) 2014 School Breakfast Scorecard credits increased numbers of low-income students eating breakfast to strategies like moving it out of the cafeteria into the classroom.
- Students like the comfortable atmosphere of their classroom better than a loud cafeteria. Eating in a classroom – with an opt-out option – reduces the stigma of breakfast-for-poor-kids-only. When I talk to students, like those in the photo below, they tell me they like to eat with their friends in a quiet, calm place.
- Teachers see positive results when students eat a morning meal in the classroom. The 2013 Too Hungry to Learn report showed that 75% of teachers liked knowing that their students are energized and ready to learn. Seventy-six percent use the time to take attendance, 65% make classroom announcements.
- School administrators have also embraced the benefits of serving breakfast in the classroom. In 2013, the American Association of School Administrators (AASA, The Superintendents Association) published an issue of their magazine on Improving Attendance, Health and Behavior: Moving Breakfast Out of the Cafeteria.
Breakfast in the classroom is good for students, educators and administrators. I call that a win-win-win – and clearly this classroom does too.