SALT LAKE CITY – Feed a child’s body before you feed their mind. That’s the idea behind a program aimed at providing breakfast to Utah students in the classroom.
Mrs. Layton’s 4th grade class begins each day with a salute and a hearty breakfast.
“It's very quick and efficient. The student knows what to do, we have a routine, we listen to calm music,” said Mindy Layton, a Woodrow Wilson Elementary School teacher.
Two years ago, 35 schools in Granite School District switched from offering breakfast in the cafeteria to the classroom. They realized many students weren’t taking advantage of the free meal because they were either too embarrassed or couldn’t fit it in.
“Our participation levels were less because parents had to get kids to school earlier, they had to walk faster to school or the buses had to get there in time,” said Rich Prall, Food Services Director with Granite School District.
The goal is to make sure students can fuel their brains with the most important meal of the day. Mrs. Layton notices students are much calmer. They feel a sense of community and perform better in the classroom.
“I just feel like our day starts off much more productive," she said.
Students offered their own opinions:
“It was really noisy, and crowded because there was only a certain amount of seats to sit at for the whole school," one student said.
Another added, “In the lunchroom, you could be late for class, but in here you know that you wouldn't be late.”
Utah is one of nine states who can apply for a grant to fund the program in its schools. At Granite School District, the investment is worth it.
“The more students we can impact and make the teachers day go better, that's what we wanna do,” Prall said.