Elementary school brings breakfast to classroom

KENNETT, MO (KAIT) - The Kennett School District is making sure no elementary student starts the school day on an empty stomach.

Each classroom receives a wagon filled with free breakfast food before the start of first period classes.

The school district started the program earlier this month. Every student has several options each day, including hot breakfast items, fruit and yogurt.

"I have a class that eats a lot," South Elementary fifth grade teacher Andi Maddox said. "They'll wipe me out this morning."

Before the wagons came, students said their stomachs were usually empty until lunch. Now, students have plenty of food to tide them over.

"Usually, you go until it's gone," fifth grader Payton Heinley said. 

"It's usually really good food," fifth grader Camden Pritchett said.

"It makes me feel better during the day because I'm full," fifth grader Mary Grace Collins said.

"It used to be, 'We can't make it to lunch, we're starving, can we have a snack.' We don't hear that any more," Maddox said.

Maddox's fifth graders are happy to fill their stomachs while they fill their minds. 

"It's in the classroom and you can work while you eat," Heinley said. 

"It eases me up a little bit, doesn't tense me up as much," Pritchett said. 

"I'm really not hungry because the breakfast is so good," Collins said. "It makes class easier."

Their teacher already sees a difference. 

"Their focus is better, they're learning better, just so many needs are being met by them being fed first off in the morning," Maddox said. "And they love it. My kids have responded so well to this. I have kids, who never ate before, eating now at school. That makes a big difference when they can sit, socialize a little bit, start their work and start their day off right."

According to Action for Healthy Kids, full students are better students. The organization pushes schools nationwide to have food programs like Kennett's to boost learning.

These kids are behind it.

"Talk to their school and maybe they can have breakfast in the classroom," Collins said.

"You wouldn't have to go down in the cafeteria and worry about being late for school," Heinley said.

"Go to the next school board meeting, whatever. Just get the program," Pritchett said.

The state education department reimburses the district for the breakfasts so everyone can eat free.

For more information on how this meal impacts students in the classroom, visit the Action for Healthy Kids website

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