Breakfast Helps Students Develop an Appetite to Learn

By Ronelle Williams |

Published 05/20 2014 01:27PM

Updated 05/20 2014 09:36PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The hunger to learn at Edison Elementary School starts in the classroom - but not with a book, instead with breakfast.

"Every day starts off in a healthy, positive way with every student at Edison having breakfast," said Assistant Principal Heather Beaulieu.

During state testing last month, the St. Joseph School District offered free breakfast to all students so they would be fully prepared.  Edison took it a step further, bringing breakfast right into the classroom.

"The students enjoy eating together.  It builds a sense of community in the classroom between the students and the teacher," said Beaulieu.

This new take on breakfast has also had a positive effect on teachers.  While relationships inside the classroom are being built, teachers are able to further engage with their students. 

"The feedback from teachers has been that the students start their day and they're calm and they're more prepared to learn.  What I'm seeing, I felt that in the building that things were just not as high level and it kind of brought everything down in the mornings," said Principal Terri Deayon.

When breakfast was served in the cafeteria, everyone rushed to eat before class, which made for a hectic start to the day.  This approach helps them settle in with a full stomach.

"We are feeding kids and so they're more prepared to learn on a given day when they're not worried about their stomach growling because they're hungry or not being able to concentrate because they're hungry.  So, to me, the benefits are phenomenal and wouldn't want to ever go back to doing it our old way," said Deayon.

Even the students have noticed the difference since moving to the classroom.

"It just helps me get through the day.  Talking to my friends more often than I usually do because we ate breakfast downstairs," said one student.

While breakfast was being served in the cafeteria, only a third to half of the students were eating. But, now that it's being held in the classroom, almost all of the students are eating.  

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