(Springfield, Mo.--01/18/2018) Springfield Public Schools has a solution to tackle pervasive problems to some of the district’s poorest schools: breakfast.
Every morning black carts greet students at their classroom doors. They’ve been packed with cereal, a hot entree, and other breakfast items,.
"It’s impactful when you know kids might come to school hungry and that maybe their families weren’t home when they left for school. So in order to give them a hot, health breakfast to start their day is pretty important," explains Amy Gibbons, Director of Nutrition Services, Springfield Public Schools.
Gibbons says no more going to the cafeteria for the most important meal of the day. Just this week, carver middle school students started eating it at their desks.
"Breakfast overall is important. It starts kids days, gets them going."
The program is called Breakfast in the Classroom and is available for all students free of charge.
"They know they can come to school and least have breakfast for free. You know that’s huge for a lot of kids. Food insecurity for a child is probably one of the most impactful things for them."
Now all students like 8th Grader Kenzie Edwards have the means to start the day off on the right foot. "I find it easier because I have more time like actually coming into class and eating." She adds breakfast is her energy source. "Instead of sitting in class and your stomachs growling you actually ate and you don’t have to focus on oh I’m hungry right now so it helps me focus."
Tardiness has all but gone away and staff members report that kids don’t seem to be acting out as much and say they have the energy to be successful in school.
Amy Slavens is an 8th grade teacher at Carver Middle School and tells FOX5,"They are also ready for the school day. They’re mind is set because there’s research that proves that if kids have food in the morning then they’re more likely to actually focus in classrooms."
Carver Middle School is among 34 Springfield Public Schools that participate in the the federally funded program.