wake up! to School Breakfast Cafeteria teams bypassed the snooze alarm to organize much morning merriment during National School Breakfast Week 2016. IT’S BEEN SEVERAL MONTHS SINCE SCHOOL CAFETERIA TEAMS PULLED OUT ALL THE STOPS FOR NATIONAL SCHOOL BREAKFAST WEEK (NSBW) 2016, the annual celebration of starting the day with a healthy school breakfast. But with this school year’s observance (March 6-10, 2017) just a few short months away, School Nutrition wants to turn back the hands of the clock so readers can be inspired by examples of last year’s creativity and get busy planning! NSBW was established nearly 30 years ago as a key opportunity to promote participation and subsequently increase breakfast consumption in schools. Each year, SNA members “rise” to the challenge, working to “wake up” their communities to the importance of school breakfast for all students. While the School Breakfast Program (SBP) was originally established as a hunger safety net for children from low-income families, decades of research confirm that school breakfast can benefit students all across the economic spectrum. The principle is simple enough: Fueling the body fuels the mind. NSBW is one of the best opportunities of the year to bring to light the relationship between breakfast, academic performance and health. School cafeteria teams that use NSBW to promote the SBP may be investing a lot of effort in a weeklong campaign, but it’s one that can have a lifelong impact on students! Studies demonstrate that children who eat school breakfast are more likely to reach higher levels of achievement, have better concentration and retain more information. But even after all these years, school breakfast participation continues to lag far behind lunch— even among those students who qualify for free/reduced-price meals. The annual School Breakfast Scorecard produced by the Food Research and Action Center shows steady progress from year to year, but the total numbers remain disappointingly low, with only half of students who select a reimbursable school lunch each day also eating a reimbursable school breakfast. Building participation in the morning meal isn’t just about convincing students. NSBW allows you to spread the message to parents, the larger community and the media. Using NSBW16’s theme, “Wake Up to School Breakfast,” SNA members took on that challenge in varying ways, including decorations, costumes, special menus, contests, proclamations, guest servers and all-school events. These activities are captured in these pages—and there were so many great photos to choose from! We wish we could share them all! Many thanks to SNA members who sent in photos and recaps to SNA Headquarters, and congratulations to all for improving participation and enhancing awareness about this valuable meal program. YOUR NEXT “CHALLENGE” AWAITS! Excited to look ahead to NSBW17!? Are you ready to “Take the School Breakfast Challenge” March 6-10, 2017? The new theme is an inspired way to engage students in school breakfast participation. Using specially designed punch cards that you can distribute to each student—with the promise of a reward of your choice for completed cards—students will be motivated to eat breakfast all throughout the week. This year’s theme also allows you to develop other activities that might provide unique “challenges” for your customers. For example, making origami is a fun and interactive activity that also increases hand-eye coordination and stimulates all parts of the brain. Partner with different teachers to devise curriculum-based puzzles and games that can be conducted before school starts or during homeroom. Reach secondary students with activities that tap into their social media obsession. Seek out ways to “challenge” students in the cafeteria, so that you can take pictures and document the fun! Your first stop for planning is to dive into the resources of the online NSBW toolkit, made possible with support from campaign partner Kellogg’s Specialty Channels. You can find the toolkit at www.schoolnutrition.org/nsbw, along with general information and statistics, plus customizable templates for press releases, handouts and presentations for foodservice staff and stakeholders. Don’t forget to also check out SNA’s Emporium (www.emporium.school nutrition.org) to purchase NSBW17 promotional gear. Popular products include Challenge-themed stadium cups, tote bags, colored pencils, balloons, pins, coffee mugs, aprons, posters and T-shirts. These featured items are ideal for cafeteria decorations, to wear for the occasion or to use as fun activity giveaways! Time is ticking and it will be March before you know it. Seek new opportunities to promote your breakfast program, and challenge yourself to take some risks on truly innovative ideas! Connecting metaphorically with this month’s magazine theme, you can renovate and refresh your routine. It can be as simple as taking someone’s idea and adding a twist to make it your own or as in-depth as constructing an idea completely from scratch. If you’ve got something special cooking for NSBW17, share it with SNA on www.schoolnutrition.org/nsbw, and you’ll have an opportunity to win official “Take the School Breakfast Challenge” stickers for your school. Mark your calendar for March 11, 2017, and send high-resolution photos and recaps to firstname.lastname@example.org. You could be featured in School Nutrition!
Published by School Nutrition Association. View All Articles.
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