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Nine Pasadena ISD Schools Start the Day with Breakfast in the Classroom

Nine Pasadena ISD Schools Start the Day with Breakfast in the Classroom
Posted on 05/05/2015
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Before the bell rings for class to begin, Williams Elementary fourth grade teacher Joshua Grant grabs a bite to eat from a breakfast kiosk in the hallway. He spends about 10-15 minutes eating breakfast with students in his classroom, while taking attendance and listening to the morning announcements.  

After a swift five-minute clean-up in which students dump their trash in a hallway garbage bag, they are ready to start learning.

Grant said the new morning routine is a step up from the hustle and bustle he experienced in the cafeteria before Williams Elementary adopted the new breakfast in the classroom initiative.

“I love this new program,” Williams said. “I get to spend quality time with my students and teach them proper etiquette, manners and responsibility in the ten minutes it takes for students to eat breakfast in class.”

He said the best part about the new program is the guarantee that students start the morning with breakfast.

“Some students do not have time to eat at home or they get to school when breakfast is still being served, but they may not have time to finish their meals,” he said. “Now, students can enjoy their breakfast without being rushed.”

Williams Elementary is one of several campuses participating in Pasadena ISD’s new Grab and Go Breakfast program. The district recently received a $48,000 grant from local dairy council, Dairy MAX, to purchase equipment for the breakfast expansion.

The new breakfast program is an alternative to a traditional breakfast consumed in the cafeteria. Schools have the flexibility to create a breakfast program that works best for their students, staff and parents.  

Some campuses have adopted the cart method, where food services staff pack breakfast meals into coolers or insulated bags to be delivered to each classroom. Some schools are taking advantage of the hallway kiosk option, where students pick up pre-packaged breakfast bags and bring them into their classroom. Campuses, possibly at the middle and high school level, may allow students to grab breakfast and eat in the hallway while they wait for class to begin.

This process prevents students from standing in line and expedites the morning routine.

The overall goal of the breakfast expansion is to increase participation in the federally funded School Breakfast Program by serving breakfast in a manner where students can easily access meals.

“Students who eat breakfast at the start of the day show an increase in academic success,” Mary Harryman, Pasadena ISD director of Child Nutrition said.  “Pasadena ISD is committed to the health and well-being of our students, and we take pride in knowing that we can provide more resources that help us further our goal of educating the whole student.”

In addition to Williams Elementary, the new breakfast program has been successfully implemented at Genoa, Jessup, South Shaver, and Turner Elementary Schools; Morris and Lomax Middle; Thompson Intermediate and the Lewis Career and Technical High School.

The district hosted several School Health Advisory Council meetings asking for input from parents and community members before the breakfast expansion began.

“We wanted to understand potential barriers to breakfast in the morning,” Harryman said. “It is exciting that teachers and parents are collaborating with us to implement the program into our schools.”

If you are interested in attending the next School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) link meeting, please click on the link for scheduling information.

Breakfast in Classroom
Jessup Elementary is among several campuses in Pasadena ISD that have implemented the new breakfast in the classroom program.

Breakfast in Classroom
Breakfast kiosks are stationed in the hallways throughout the campus. Food services staff bag breakfast items and distribute them to students lined up in the hallway.

Breakfast in Classroom
Students gather their trash and dispose items in the garbage bags outside the classroom.

Breakfast in Classroom