DODGE CITY, Kansas – A middle school is trying to improve education and health for their students by bringing breakfast to the classroom.
Even though a hot breakfast is available in the cafeteria every morning, kids don’t always get the most important meal of the day.
“What we wanted to do was increase the number of kids that are actually participating in the breakfast program,” said principal Mike King. “So, what we did was we decided to move it into the classroom so all students would have an opportunity to have some nutrition in the morning.”
The program is actually a national initiative that’s gaining a lot of attention, so much so that Senator Past Roberts stopped in Friday morning to chat with kids and staff.
“How’s this working? How can it work better, so that when we go back to authorize it, I’ll probably have several amendments to the bill to provide a little more flexibility to our local people,” said Senator Roberts.
The program started in the eighth grade in January, and seventh graders joined shortly after. Since then, the quick, nutritious meals during first period have helped with students’ energy and attentiveness.
“Start that day off with a good breakfast and they’ll be ready to go the rest of the day, it’s just so vital,” said nutritional supervisor Kathy Konrade.
“The kids like it, the teachers like it,” said school nurse Rachel Campbell. “It hasn’t bogged down their time, it’s really simple.”
Of nearly 700 students, the program helps the school feed as many as 417 students in any given day. That’s double the amount from when the cafeteria was the only option.
Plus, the nutritious breakfasts fall under free and reduced guidelines.
Anybody, whether you’re paid, free or reduced can eat free in the classroom.
The school plans to bring the program to sixth graders by the end of this month and the district hopes to introduce the program to Dodge City’s other middle school next year.