One Connecticut elementary school with a high-level of homeless children has found tremendous success in getting their students to eat a free breakfast by serving it in the classroom instead of in the cafeteria.
New Haven public school Wexler/Grant School is home to about 400 kids in grades pre-K to 8 and the has the highest number of homeless students in the district.
“In the first month in which kids started eating breakfast in their classrooms instead, the number of kids eating shot up. The average number of breakfasts consumed rose from 198 in February to 346 in March, according to Sarah Maver, school wellness dietitian for New Haven Public Schools.”
“That means about 91 percent of kids are now eating breakfast, according to her data. (There are 407 kids in the school; about 94 percent show up each day.)”
“We definitely are very happy” with the quick results, she said.
The article goes on to describe how one of the teachers, Michele Vaiuso, makes sure she saves breakfast for students who are late. She also sets aside some cereal for a slow eater to finish later so they wouldn’t be hungry. She notices which students aren’t eating and encourages them or pairs them with good eaters. She says she definitely can see an energy increase for some students when they do have breakfast in their tummies.
I adore how loving this teacher is. I just want to hug her and thank her for being so caring to her students. I would totally be that way too making sure all my little people were taken care of.
The article doesn’t say why they think consumption increases so much when breakfast is served in the classroom versus the lunchroom. Are the kids more comfortable in their classroom? Are they afraid they will be late or miss something if they go to the cafeteria? Is it intimidating or embarrassing to be seen in there? I wish a theory was at least offered why it’s more successful. But I hope other schools take notice and try it!
What do you make of this dramatic improvement in consumption by serving in the classroom instead of the lunchroom? Would your school try this? (Send this article to your principal.)