How Moreland Ridge Made Time for Breakfast
When the bell rings at Moreland Ridge Middle School, students enter the building and find Grab & Go carts waiting for them. They take a brown bag breakfast, add a juice or milk and punch in their student codes. Within 15 minutes, 200 students have purchased breakfast and moved along to their classrooms, flanked by teachers who stay nearby to show their support for the program and help destigmatize the experience.
“Before this program, kids were late to class just trying to eat breakfast,” says Leah Anne Luethje, Assistant Director. “This way, students are tardy less often, and the teachers are on board with kids eating in their classrooms if it means they will be on time.”
In addition to their Grab & Go style breakfast, Blue Springs R-IV also waives the reduced-price fee for the students in their district, which is considered a best practice for boosting breakfast participation. It has been very successful.
Since implementing the new model, the school has seen a significant increase in the number of students who eat breakfast. “We’ve seen big improvement by taking the meals to the students instead of making them come to the cafeteria, where there might be stigma or it’s simply out of their way,” says Brian Harris, Administrator of Student Wellness & Nutritional Services. “We are constantly looking for new ways to reach our students, especially those who might not have the opportunity to eat before they come to school.”
The kitchen manager, Jessica Martinez, is a big supporter of the effort. “As a mother of a middle schooler, I know how important this program is to the students at this school,” she says. “I just want the kids to be fed and learn better.”