For All School Stakeholders
Learn how each Breakfast After the Bell model is structured with Innovative Breakfast Delivery Options, and find out the percentage increase your school breakfast program can experience by adopting these models.
This template letter is designed to engage school staff and provide detailed information about how a Breakfast After the Bell program would operate.
These Talking Points for Introducing Breakfast After the Bell to School Stakeholders can help you get started as you educate teachers, principals and superintendents about Breakfast After the Bell.
The meal quality of school breakfast is often a topic of discussion in schools. School breakfast sometimes gets a bad rap for being unhealthy, when in reality the food options served at breakfast must adhere to strict nutritional guidelines and are often much healthier than store-bought breakfast. The following resource provides school stakeholders with helpful nutritional information about school breakfast, and comes in an English and Spanish language version:
- School Breakfast is Healthier Than You Think (ENGLISH language version)
- School Breakfast is Healthier Than You Think (SPANISH language version)
The USDA has several handouts specifying what school stakeholders can do to support school breakfast:
For Principals and Teachers
These short Breakfast After the Bell 101 videos are geared towards teachers and principals and outline how Breakfast After the Bell benefits students and classrooms, as well as how to incorporate these models into the instructional day.
Breakfast After the Bell Myths shed light on the most common myths that persist about Breakfast After the Bell, including that it takes away from instructional time and that it causes messes in the classroom. In actuality, teachers report that Breakfast After the Bell increases instructional time because kids are able to focus and participate, as opposed to being distracted by hunger. Additionally, when a robust clean-up plan is put in place, classroom messes are a rarity.
One big piece of the puzzle for school district administration and education stakeholders is how school breakfast gets funded. The school nutrition budget, which funds all school meals programs, is separate from the school district general fund. Therefore, the school breakfast program does not compete for the same resources that teachers and classrooms do. This educator's guide to school breakfast funding illuminates how the funding that supports school breakfast and lunch makes its way from Congress to the cafeteria. It also answers common questions that educators have about how the school meals programs work.
- Breakfast in the Classroom Pacing Guide: This guide is designed to support educators by illuminating the Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) process, from understanding the importance of breakfast to preparing students for BIC. This resource offers clearly detailed steps, helpful timelines, and beneficial resources to help make BIC a success.
- Teacher Guide – Classroom Set Up and Clean Up: This resource outlines how classrooms can be affected by Breakfast After the Bell and shares best practices on how to create a plan for classroom set up and clean up where breakfast is served or eaten.
- We Are Teachers is an online community for educators committed to one of the toughest, most rewarding jobs out there.
For School Nutrition Staff
School nutrition staff work on the front lines, preparing and serving meals to students. Building relationships with school nutrition staff is vital to expanding access to school meals through initiatives that maximize student participation, like Breakfast After the Bell.
It is important to understand who makes up the school nutrition team and the general roles and responsibilities within the school nutrition program. This guide to building relationships with school nutrition staff is intended to help you decide when to approach school nutrition staff and which members of the staff to approach.
School meals can be a lifeline for families. Free and reduced price (FRP) meals can relieve some of the financial struggles school meals place upon families. In order to receive FRP meals, families must apply through their school. Many families are not aware of this, and also have no idea that with the FRP application comes the possibility of benefits beyond just FRP meals. For instance, some states offer discounted internet services, housing services, and discounted college application fees. Each state is different in terms of the benefits they offer to families. Outreach about FRP meal applications can be helpful to inform families about these benefits, and improve submission rates of FRP applications. No Kid Hungry's School Meals Application Outreach Toolkit streamlines the outreach process for schools by providing guidance about communication to families, outreach examples from other districts, and customizable fliers, social media posts and graphics in English and Spanish to connect with families.
It is important to inform parents about the Breakfast After the Bell program before it launches and engages them in the process. Use PTA meetings, Back to School nights and other venues to talk to parents about the importance of breakfast and how the Breakfast After the Bell program will work.
No Kid Hungry’s Breakfast FAQs for Parents is a customizable resource that answers those frequently asked questions that school nutrition directors and principals get from parents regarding Breakfast After the Bell.
This template letter can be customized by schools to inform families about a new Breakfast in the Classroom program:
Use these breakfast flyers and posters to add more visibility to your program:
- Breakfast is Essential to Success flyer (Spanish & English)
- Did You Know School Breakfast flyer (English & Spanish)
- Rushed Morning breakfast flyer (Customizable Spanish)
- Powered By Breakfast Posters (Customizable)
- Breakfast is Part of the School Day postcard (Customizable Spanish)
- USDA “How Does School Breakfast Help Families?” flyer
- USDA school newsletter inserts
Students are the customers of Breakfast After the Bell programs and should be treated as such. Schools should inform students about changes to the school breakfast program in advance of the launch date and, if necessary, provide training.
Breakfast After the Bell Strategies for Middle and High Schools shares the best practices that schools from across the country have used to increase their middle and high school breakfast participation. Tactics such as engaging students in the planning process, soliciting student feedback and offering Second Chance Breakfast have shown success in getting more middle and high school students to eat school breakfast.
Marketing is an essential component to increasing school breakfast participation. Getting the word out about school breakfast helps to ensure that more kids start the day with the fuel they need to learn, grow and thrive. School Breakfast Promotion Strategies highlight ways that you can build awareness, generate excitement and ultimately increase school breakfast participation.
Visual reminders, such as posters displayed around the school, can help nudge students to participate in the breakfast program.
- Editable Breakfast Posters for Middle and High School:
- Breakfast Posters for Elementary Students
Engaging the community is also important because the positive effects of school breakfast extend well beyond the school walls.
The local newspaper can be an effective way to reach out to the community about the value and impact of school breakfast. Here are some tips and best practices to ensure your letter or op-ed piece will convey the right message to the community while meeting the newspaper’s needs and standards.
These "Food for Thought" No Kid Hungry social media graphics provide schools with sample Facebook and Twitter graphics to add to posts and tweets: