Making a Point to Help Students Succeed Districtwide
Whitney Point Central School District
Central New York State
Students in three schools in Whitney Point Central School District, located in Whitney Point in central New York, are benefiting from new school breakfast programs. Thanks to a district breakfast grant from Action for Healthy Kids, made possible by Kellogg Company, school breakfast participation has increased on average from 26% in 2016 to 59% through the first semester of the 2017-2018 school year. New school breakfast projects include Breakfast in the Classroom in the elementary school, Grab-and-Go at the middle school, and utilization of breakfast vending machines at the high school.
According to Arlin White, the district’s food service director, making the changes across multiple schools was challenging. However, support from Superintendent Patricia Follette for the new breakfast programming in all schools and the move to participating in Provision 2, where all students receive breakfast at no charge, has helped make change possible.
“It is great that we are able to offer a free breakfast every day to our students so that they are ready for the school day,” says Superintendent Follette.
Having support from the leadership allowed the food service department to begin the conversations with each school’s leadership and staff. They visited other districts to see their breakfast programs in action and put together programs based on the needs of each school. Creating buy-in from each school’s cafeteria staff and principal and allowing the schools’ primary stakeholders to shape their programs were keys to success.
Schools report the following impacts from their new breakfast programming, beyond increased breakfast participation:
- improved student focus/behavior in the classroom
- greater sense of community in the class or school
- increased student enthusiasm and interest in school breakfast
- positive feedback from parents about school breakfast program; and
- increased teacher and/or administrator support and engagement for school breakfast.