With an enrollment of 535 students in the entire district, Campbell Elementary School proves that Breakfast After the Bell programs are manageable for districts of all sizes and beneficial in a multitude of ways. In addition to giving students greater access to nutritious meals at the beginning of the day, which is proven to improve behavior and test scores, eating breakfast in the classroom fosters a sense of community.
Small and Mighty
Districts of All Sizes Can Start the Day Off Right
In Mrs. Bunting’s Fourth Grade classroom, she uses the time while everyone is eating to play the “Six Minutes Together” podcast, which has become a favorite of the students. “I like that it’s less chaotic and we’re able to create a routine to get the day starting off well,” says Mrs. Bunting.
Food Services Secretary Deanna Treat agrees. “It’s a really good program, especially for low-income communities,” she says. “Everyone eats breakfast free,” she beams, “including teachers.”
The program also enables students who may be running late in the morning to still eat breakfast, something traditional, cafeteria-based, school breakfast doesn’t allow.
“We had a few building meetings about it and said, “If it’s going to benefit our kids, then I say let’s try it,” explains Jay Thornton, Campbell Elementary School Superintendent. “Our participation rates are up considerably.” Since starting the program in January 2017, they witnessed overall breakfast participation numbers increase more than 80% with the program. “We went in head-first,” says Thornton, “and it’s been good for the kids.”