How does Alternative School Breakfast Impact Students?

By Rebecca Shaw

 For two school districts participating in AASA’s Alternative School Breakfast initiative, it’s clear that offering school breakfast in the classroom and through “Grab and Go” options, there is a strong, positive impact on students.

Today, Rodney Watson, superintendent of Spring (Texas) Independent School District and Michael Grove, the assistant superintendent of Meriden (Connecticut) Public Schools, were guests on Education Talk Radio to offer their perspectives about the School Breakfast program.

Since 2011, AASA has been funded by the Walmart Foundation to provide technical assistance to school districts, and increase school breakfast participation. In just one month after starting this program at Meriden Public Schools, school breakfast participation has increased to 35 percent, Grove said.

For both districts, teachers have incorporated the school breakfast program seamlessly, particularly with “Breakfast in the Classroom” in elementary schools. At Hanover Elementary School in Connecticut, kids are more likely to be in the classroom ready to work—before they trickled in from the cafeteria. In Spring ISD, 82 percent of the classes participate. As Watson said during the interview, teachers are having conversations and building relationships with their students that are beyond academics.

Community engagement and support has contributed to the School Breakfast program’s success in these districts. In Spring ISD, the Child Nutrition department encourages community members to try menu items ensuring that students receive tasty, while still nutritious meals. For both districts, there have been similar popular menu items -- among them (healthy) pop tarts and delicious smoothies.

Listen to the recording here. To learn more about the Alternative School Breakfast program, visit the AASA website.  



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