“It’s a lot easier. If we don’t eat at home, then we don’t starve the entire day because we have something to eat in the morning.”
— Student
Memorial Elementary, Taylorville

Casa Central Boy Eating Breakfast

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At Hope Academy Elementary, nearly 600 students started the 2014-2015 school year receiving breakfast every day.

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Sometimes expanding school breakfast is as simple as getting a few carts and insulated containers. Often it’s the desire by district administrators to ensure children start the day with a meal. In Decatur Public Schools, it took both.

In partnership with No Kid Hungry Illinois and Aramark, the school district now serves breakfast at seven elementary schools, with two more schools coming onboard in 2014-2015. The need is great in a district where approximately 80 percent of students receive free and reduced lunch. Moving breakfast into the classroom ensures nearly all students will receive a nutritious breakfast to start the day. At Hope Academy Elementary, nearly 600 students started the 2014-2015 school year receiving breakfast every day. No Kid Hungry has provided funding for equipment that safely transports food from Hope’s cafeteria to the classroom. And children are starting their day with the nutrients they need to succeed.

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“Breakfast makes students so much readier to start school. They think better, they’re more awake—we can tell a difference.” – Gloria Harrison, Food Service Director, Granite City School District 9. With the assistance of a breakfast coordinator, Granite City experienced a 74.3 percent increase in breakfasts last year.

“We have seen an increase in attendance and decrease in tardiness. I know that for our kids, their two best meals of the day are in school. I know there are kids who don’t have food at home.” – Scott Riddle, Principal, Beardstown Middle School/High School. With the assistance of a breakfast coordinator, six times as many Beardstown students began consuming school breakfast in 2013-2014.

Gloria Harrison, Food Service Director at Granite City School District noted, “With the new Grab n’ Go system, our participation has more than doubled from the previous school year. Kids are taking to it well and love having an alternative to the traditional breakfast in the cafeteria.” Granite City increased school breakfast program participation by implementing new ways of serving school breakfast. Students are fans of the changes too, “I like the Grab n’ Go line because it’s faster and gives me more time with my friends,” enthused a student at Grigsby Middle School in the Granite City School District. Breakfast can be served in the classroom, distributed in the hallways, or offered before second period; the flexibility to allow children to eat in the morning at school is crucial to encourage high participation.

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“Breakfast makes students so much readier to start school. They think better, they’re more awake—we can tell a difference.” – Gloria Harrison, Food Service Director, Granite City School District 9. With the assistance of a breakfast coordinator, Granite City experienced a 74.3 percent increase in breakfasts last year.

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“We have seen an increase in attendance and decrease in tardiness. I know that for our kids, their two best meals of the day are in school. I know there are kids who don’t have food at home.” – Scott Riddle, Principal, Beardstown Middle School/High School. With the assistance of a breakfast coordinator, six times as many Beardstown students began consuming school breakfast in 2013-2014.

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Gloria Harrison, Food Service Director at Granite City School District noted, “With the new Grab n’ Go system, our participation has more than doubled from the previous school year. Kids are taking to it well and love having an alternative to the traditional breakfast in the cafeteria.” Granite City increased school breakfast program participation by implementing new ways of serving school breakfast. Students are fans of the changes too, “I like the Grab n’ Go line because it’s faster and gives me more time with my friends,” enthused a student at Grigsby Middle School in the Granite City School District. Breakfast can be served in the classroom, distributed in the hallways, or offered before second period; the flexibility to allow children to eat in the morning at school is crucial to encourage high participation.

Teacher & Administrator Testimonials

“The breakfast program has a definite impact on the students’ abilityBreakfast Hillside to stay focused on learning throughout their morning. There are fewer queries about, “When is it time for lunch?” at 10:00am.” – Teacher, School District 100, Berwyn

Calumet City“It gives me a chance every morning to connect with my students. I can check on those who need to touch base with me as to how their day will go, if they need any help with any subjects, and more importantly it helps me build relationships.” – Teacher, Hope Elementary, Decatur

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Success Stories

A League of Their Own

Bloomington High School, SD 87 threw a curve ball creating their own Breakfast After the Bell delivery model that is just the right fit for their school.

Berwyn South SD 100 – “The Field Trip”

Breakfast Champions Jennifer Hosty, Business Manager, and Toni LeGare, Food Service Director of Berwyn South SD 100 opened up the doors to two of their schools for nearby school districts preparing to implement a Breakfast After the Bell program to see one up close, live, and in action.

Q&A with Berwyn South School District 100 

The Business Manager Jennifer Hosty & Food Service Coordinator Toni LeGare sat down with Rise & Shine Illinois to talk about their Breakfast After the Bell Program and how the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) has helped to increase breakfast participation in the district.

Breakfast for Beach Park School District 3

This is the story of how the Community Eligibility Provision helped Beach Park School District 3 provide breakfast to ALL students in the district.

Nancy Hill’s Breakfast Club

“We have done more than take care of basic needs; we have created a culture in the classroom …” – Principal Mike Smith of Nancy Hill Elementary School in West Aurora School District 129

South Shores Elementary Breaks with Tradition

How does a school break through the barriers tied to traditional breakfast in the cafeteria and provide easy access to a nutritious school breakfast? South Shores Elementary did just that and broke with traditional breakfast in the cafeteria.

Grab N Go increases breakfast participation by over 120% in Beardstown

With the help of a Rise & Shine Illinois and No Kid Hungry grant, Beardstown was able to implement a Grab N Go service model for the 2014-2015 school year.

“These Kids are Hungry” – Chicagoland school helps fill critical need

Jane Addams Elementary in Melrose Park sees 30% increase in breakfast participation since implementing Breakfast in the Classroom, helping to fill a major meal gap in an area of high need.

Taylorville School District: A shining example of breakfast success

WCIA News 3 Springfield covers the success of Breakfast in the Classroom at Memorial Elementary in Taylorville, Il.  With the help of a Rise & Shine Illinois grant, Memorial was able to implement the model in Fall of 2014.