Published by Laurie Pender on January 9, 2019
Fayetteville, NC – In order for students to achieve success in the classroom and reach their full potential, their most basic needs must be met – including access to breakfast. Multiple research studies have conveyed how eating school breakfast can dramatically change a child’s life.
Recently, 12 school districts across North Carolina received funding from the Governor’s Office, in partnership with No Kid Hungry School Breakfast Leadership Institute, to expand access to school breakfast and the Cumberland County Schools (CCS) was one of them. The following schools in Cumberland County will use the funding to increase access to breakfast: Bill Hefner Elementary, Cumberland Road Elementary, Rockfish Elementary, J.W. Seabrook Elementary, Ashley Elementary, Morganton Road Elementary and Alderman Road Elementary.
The district met specific criteria set by the North Carolina School Breakfast Leadership Team, which includes members of the Office of the Governor of North Carolina, based on the NC Department of Public Instruction meal claim data for the 2017-18 school year that demonstrates the opportunity for growth in school breakfast participation. This funding, provided through No Kid Hungry and The Dairy Alliance, will support the start of a new Breakfast After the Bell program.
Almost 900,000 students in traditional public schools across the state are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals – that’s 60 percent of the 1.5 million public school students. The need is significant in the CCS, too. Seventy-five percent of the students in the district are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.
While students may qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, there are many obstacles that prevent them from accessing school breakfast. Chief among those barriers that keep students from taking advantage of school breakfast include scheduling of meals, location of cafeteria, transportation challenges, and the stigma and shaming that is often associated with eating school meals. The School Breakfast Leadership Institute is helping the Cumberland County Schools take advantage of federal funds, grant opportunities and other resources to ensure all students begin their day fueled to learn.
The district is embracing Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC). This innovative Breakfast After the Bell model is cost-effective, efficient, and removes certain stigmas to ensure more students start their day with breakfast.
Breakfast After the Bell Models include:
“Since implementing the Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) model in seven of our elementary schools, we have noticed that it is not only a benefit to the child but to the classroom and each school as well,” said Beth Maynard, the executive director of CCS’ Child Nutrition Services (CNS). “It (BIC) can be a strategic resource that is underutilized but, implementing this program can bring about huge gains in student achievement and create ‘community’ within the classroom.”
“We have early evidence that the Breakfast in the Classroom model is making a difference in our schools,” said CCS’ Superintendent Dr. Marvin
The North Carolina School Breakfast Leadership Team consists of representatives from the Office of the Governor of North Carolina, the NC Department of Public Instruction’s School Nutrition Services, No Kid Hungry NC and the Bladen County Schools.