Scotland County Schools Score with New Breakfast Models
Scotland County School District
Scotland County, North Carolina
Eight schools across Scotland County began the 2017- 2018 school year with a bright new start at breakfast! Thanks to a school breakfast grant from Action Healthy Kids, with generous funding from Kellogg’s, the schools were each able to utilize funding to implement an alternative breakfast model to help improve breakfast participation. These alternative breakfast models ranged from Grab N’ Go to breakfast in the classroom.
Laurel Hill Elementary School in Laurel Hill, North Carolina was able to increase their breakfast participation and get more students fed every morning by purchasing equipment that allowed many of their students the opportunity to Grab N’ Go with their breakfast—bringing their food back to their classroom to eat. This has increased their breakfast participation from 40% of students prior to the grant to serving nearly 60% a year later. They hope to encourage more students to bring their food back to their rooms next year as well, further improving their participation, according to school principal Kesha Hood. This change in breakfast model has fostered a greater sense of community among the students now that they’re eating together as a group in the room. According to school staff, another bonus has been more on-time arrivals to school.
Another grant-funded breakfast program is causing a stir in Laurinburg, North Carolina, where Sycamore Lane Elementary School allows students to eat their breakfast in the classroom. Teachers have noticed the significant increase in breakfast particiaption and that students are making fewer trips to the school nurse. Elizabeth Burke, a Sycamore Lane teacher shared, “The students seem to stay more focused.” School staff, led by Cafeteria Manager, Maudie Parsons, have promoted their new breakfast opportunities with large, visually-appealing banners displayed both at the front entrance for parents to see and at the cafeteria doors to remind students to eat their breakfast. Staff also sent home letters at the beginning of the school year outlining the benefits and opportunity for their alternative breakfast model. Each morning, school staff take turns assisting with Grab N’ Go, and the administration helps drive home the importance of students eating breakfast before their day starts.
With the support of teachers, administrators, staff and parents, the Scotland County School District plans to utilize their already-purchased resources to expand their services throughout their schools. Other schools in Scotland County will benefit from the best practices developed at Sycamore Lane and Laurel Hills.