The Liberty County School Nutrition Program recently hosted a Breakfast with the Breakfast Team.
This event showcased the district-wide implementation of the Alternative Breakfast Grant during the 2015-16 school year. Sharon Adams-Taylor, associate executive director of AASA, the School Superintendents Association, and Kelly Beckwith, AASA project director, were guests as members of the AASA Children’s Programs Department.
They traveled to provide technical assistance to the 11 school districts across the nation that received an Alternative Breakfast Delivery Grant this year. Lydia Martin and Brenda Merritt of the Georgia Department of Education’s Division of School Nutrition were among those attending the Breakfast in the Classroom event recognizing the Breakfast Initiative Grant.
During this visit, the AASA team observed the Breakfast in the Classroom and hallway Grab and Go delivery program at Frank Long Elementary School and Bradwell Institute, followed by a breakfast meeting with the Liberty County School Breakfast Team and AASA-assigned mentor/advocates at the Liberty County Performing Arts Center. The objective of the visits included assessing program strengths, evaluating support, receiving technical assistance and resources and providing feedback. The team members complimented how the program has increased student attendance and attentiveness in class while providing a seamless beginning to the school day.
Julie Wilkerson of Southeast Unified Dairy Association also attended, and was praised as an asset in promoting the Breakfast in the Classroom initiative.
Liberty County received a $193,700 grant to increase breakfast participation by alternative breakfast delivery methods during the 2015-16 school year. Breakfast participation has increased approximately 30 percent district-wide with the program. With funding from the Walmart Foundation, AASA works with member districts to increase school breakfast participation using alternative breakfast strategies such as Breakfast in the Classroom. The main goal of the initiative is to increase the number of low-income students who eat breakfast in these districts.
If a district is interested in serving breakfast in an alternative manner (outside of or in addition to the cafeteria), AASA members recommend visiting a nearby district where it is successfully implemented. They also recommend talking with principals, teachers, students, and parents to get their views on how the program works. Videos made by school districts where alternative breakfast is a success are available at www.aasa.org/content.aspx?id=28530.