Successful Students

Evans School students off to a healthy start with Breakfast in the Classroom

EVANSVILLE, Ind.— Breakfast will never be the same for Evans School students, as they received the gift of coolers on wheels today thanks to a unique partnership between the Evansville Teachers Association and the National Education Association’s Priority Schools Campaign. The two education groups leveraged an existing partnership with JEEP® to purchase coolers to maintain the school’s “Breakfast in the Classroom” program.

Representatives from the local education association presented more than two dozen coolers to a jam packed gymnasium of students, teachers and community leaders. The coolers will allow Evans School students to begin school with a nutritious breakfast and ready to learn.

“This may seem like a small gift, but this is a gift that goes a long way,” said Keith Gambill, president of the Evansville Teachers Association. “Too many children often miss out on breakfast and start the school day hungry. This program provides students with a healthy meal to start their school day.”

While at Howard Roosa Elementary School, which is where Breakfast in the Classroom started, school leaders decided to get breakfast out of the cafeteria and into the classroom in an effort to ensure every student started the school day with a nutritious breakfast. Every morning, educators would fill backpacks with milk, bagels, jam and cereal boxes, and deliver breakfast in the classroom.

“Teachers noticed too many students were missing out on breakfast and starting their school day hungry,” said Brynn Kardash, principal of Evans School.  “Hungry students can’t concentrate. Bus schedules and late arrivals were among the reasons that many students gave for not  eating breakfast in the cafeteria, so teachers brought their concerns to me and soon after, our Breakfast in the Classroom program was born.”

As a result of this program, attendance at Howard Roosa Elementary escalated, tardiness decreased and behavior referrals were almost non-existent in the morning. Students also received the added benefit of spending more time with their teachers, learning appropriate table and social manners and extra help on assignments.

With a new building this school year, educators needed a new way to deliver breakfast and continue student success. Coolers were the optimal choice. But like most financially burdened schools, funding to maintain the program was non-existent. School leaders had to make a tough decision: cancel the Breakfast in the Classroom program—that is until help arrived.

“Our goal is to create  great public schools and help ensure that all our students receive the education they need to succeed in life,” said David Smith, superintendent of the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. . And, this  partnership not only helps us reach this goal, but it also shows that the entire community plays a vital role in helping to make great public schools for all our  students. We welcome these types of partnerships and look forward to creating more of them.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

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