Think You Know School Breakfast? Think Again! Part 2: Second Chance Breakfast
It’s National School Breakfast Week and we’re taking the opportunity to showcase three successful and unique programs throughout the week that are trying to reach more students with school breakfast.
Michigan schools served more than 64 million breakfasts to about 380,000 students in the 2017-2018 school year. But we can do more! Michigan has a goal to increase breakfast participation by 2,000 students per day by June 30, 2019. This is because the Michigan Office of Health and Child Nutrition Services believes that well-nourished students are vital for us to become a top 10 education state in 10 years.
Why? Research shows school breakfast enhances students’ readiness for learning and improves their classroom behaviors. There is a link between regular access to school breakfast and a reduction in tardiness to class, improved memory and on-task behavior during lessons, fewer visits to school nurses or clinics and even higher scores on tests of mathematics and English language arts.
Today we have the story of a middle school that gives students a second opportunity to eat breakfast.
Muir Middle School: A “Cool” Option for Students
The breakfast cart at Muir Middle School.
Muir Middle School in the Huron Valley School District, unveiled a new breakfast cart in January. Breakfast is served from the cart before school and after the first period to catch kids who were running late to their first class. It can be moved around, but currently sits inside the main entrance of the school.
This second-chance breakfast option is popular with students, who think it is “cool” to be able to eat breakfast during their second period class, says Muir cafeteria manager Kim Normandin. Teachers and other staff support this option because they know full stomachs help kids concentrate and be ready to learn better.
Although the school district has had several snow days since starting the breakfast cart program, Normandin has seen her breakfast participation numbers increase from about 40 a day to about 60.
“[The breakfast cart] is a good option for our school because the numbers have shown me that it allows me to reach students who have not come into the cafeteria in the morning for breakfast,” says Normandin. “I have seen many different faces than what I normally see in the cafeteria.”