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The Impact of Breakfast After the Bell
teenage boy eating an apple at his desk

One of the most effective ways to significantly boost school breakfast participation is to make it part of the school day, serving Breakfast After the Bell. Breakfast After the Bell can have positive benefits on children's educational and health outcomes.

The simple act of feeding kids a healthy school breakfast can be associated with dramatic potential long-term impacts, including positive, large-scale outcomes in education, economics and health.

An analysis by Deloitte found that schools that serve Breakfast After the Bell have higher breakfast participation, lower chronic absenteeism and improved test scores.  Better performance and attendance at school can lead to greater job-readiness and self-sufficiency after high school.

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Educators' Perspectives on School Breakfast
teacher sitting on a desk talking to a young student

Educators can play a critical role in implementing and supporting Breakfast After the Bell programs. Research shows that educators see hunger as a serious issue, acknowledge the importance of breakfast and support Breakfast After the Bell.

Educators have first-hand knowledge of the challenges their students face, including a lack of adequate food, and often have a front-row seat to seeing improvements in students who do eat a healthy breakfast.   Educators across the country report children coming to school hungry and acknowledge the importance of breakfast.  Educators support Breakfast After the Bell and see the benefits it can have on children. 

  • Hunger in Our Schools 2017 showcases the voices and perspectives of educators across the country and documents the hunger they see in their classrooms. Three-quarters of school teachers say students regularly come to school hungry and that this negatively impacts their students and classroom. Teachers who implemented breakfast in the classroom report a positive effect on student behavior and readiness to learn.
  • NYC Teacher Survey Summary Memo reports that two-thirds of NYC teachers say students coming to class hungry is a major problem at their school. Nearly nine in ten teachers say breakfast is important for students’ academic achievement. Recognizing the tremendous impact that breakfast could have on student health and academic achievement, eight in ten teachers support having breakfast in the classroom in their schools.
  • IL Teacher Survey Microreport shows that three in four public school teachers in Illinois see children come hungry to school at least once a month and say that without breakfast, children’s academic performance and health suffer. Two-thirds of teachers overwhelmingly support school-provided breakfast in the classroom as a solution to child hunger, and three-quarters of teachers who currently participate in the program say it has been a positive experience.
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Parents’ Perspectives on School Breakfast
4th grade girl in a classroom taking milk from a crate as she makes her way to her desk

Understanding parents' perspectives can shed light on the need for school breakfast and effective ways to promote the program.

Parents recognize the importance of a healthy breakfast. Gathering parent perspectives on how to market the school breakfast program can boost participation.   

  • NYC School Focus Group Findings: Advocacy Case Study provides a summary of the results from a school breakfast focus group with New York City parents.   Parents provided their feedback on what would make children more likely to participate.
  • NYC School Focus Groups Lessons Learned: This two-page document identifies key takeaways from focus groups with parents about the best ways to market school breakfast, including what information would be helpful for parents, the precise language that parents respond to and the preferred channels for communication.
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