Nutrition Education Project  Logo



About Us

In Action

In Action Photo

Breakfast Club and the Power of Collaboration

Breakfast Club at Harvey Milk Elementary School is an excellent example of a successful collaboration between the Student Nutrition Services (SNS), Nutrition Education Project (NEP), Parent Liaison, ExCEL Site Coordinator and parents. It is truly a synergistic school program where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

 

The team works together to organize activities which are educational and fun. This helps to prepare students for a productive day of joyful learning.

Harvey Milk starts its classes at 9:30 a.m., but Breakfast Club begins at 8 a.m.; parents and students choose to come to school 90 minutes before school starts to participate (often families are invited – see Breakfast Club Alternatives at the end of the article).

Breakfast Club at Harvey Milk
A healthy breakfast 
Breakfast Club at Harvey Milk
Breakfast club team 

What is Breakfast Club?

Breakfast Club is a morning program designed to encourage kids to come to school early, move their bodies and eat a well-balanced breakfast.

Students take part in some fun physical activity challenges, make a supplemental healthy breakfast snack, engage their minds in various brain games, and socialize with friends. The objective of this program is to encourage students to consume more fruits and vegetables and be more physically active (at least 60 minutes a day).

The Breakfast Club program is often seen as a before school FUN DAY event!


Who is on the Breakfast Club Team?

There are five people at Harvey Milk who makes this club successful. The morning team consists of the:

  • Student Nutrition Services (SNS) worker
  • Site Nutrition Coordinator (SNC)
  • Parent Liaison
  • Learning Support Professional (LSP)
  • Custodian

Each person has a specific role/job:

  • Site Nutrition Coordinator sets up the nutrition cooking lesson.
  • Student Nutrition Services worker sets up the hand washing station and the hot/cold school breakfast line.
  • Parent Liaison provides additional funding to purchase the breakfast snack ingredients.
  • Learning Support Professional helps organize the brain games and reading tables.
  • Custodian sets up other stations and keeps the morning crowd in order. (See end of article for breakfast club alternatives.)

How does it work?

VIRTUAL TOUR:
Breakfast Club at Harvey Milk
Breakfast Club at Harvey Milk
1. Students sign in
Breakfast Club at Harvey Milk
2. Students visit the building block station
Breakfast Club at Harvey Milk
3. Students participate in a physical activity game as a group
Breakfast Club at Harvey Milk
4. Students helping each other at the
reading table
Breakfast Club at Harvey Milk
5. Students play at board game station
Breakfast Club at Harvey Milk
6 Students wash their hands before making the breakfast tasting
Breakfast Club at Harvey MilkBreakfast Club at Harvey Milk
Breakfast Club at Harvey Milk
Breakfast Club at Harvey Milk
7. Students cook at the nutrition station

  1. Decide which recipe will be featured - SNS and SNC decide which recipe will be featured for that day.
    Often the recipes come from the recipe book Everyday Healthy Meals developed by the Champions for Change – Network for a Healthy California. Visit our Cook With Students page or Champions for Change for more recipes.
  2. Purchase food for the breakfast tasting
    Someone on the team purchases food for each student to have a breakfast tasting to accompany the school breakfast meal program. The cost analysis range is anywhere from .05 - .50 cents per student. Funding for the tasting comes from various sources: The Nutrition Education Project (NEP) and the Parent Teacher Association (PTA).
  3. Set up each station
    The morning of the breakfast club program, the multi-purpose room is set up with each interactive station. Students spend time at one or all stations.

Take a virtual tour (pictures at right) of Harvey Milk’s Breakfast Club.

  1. Students sign in
  2. Students visit the building block station
  3. Students participate in a physical activity game as a group
  4. Students helping each other at the reading table
  5. Students play at board game station
  6. Students wash their hands before making the breakfast tasting
  7. Students cook at the nutrition station

Overall Results and Impact

In alignment with the SFUSD Balanced Score Card, Harvey Milk’s breakfast club was implemented to help:

  • Lower incidents of truancy
  • Increase the potential for more joyful learners
  • Create a positive school climate and community

Students receive:

  • Hands-on experience in creating healthy snacks
  • Practical math and reading skills when following recipes
  • An opportunity to practice social skills (i.e. cooperation, manners, and hygiene) - We encourage parents to attend!

“Working together as a team helps us address our accountability to student excellence.” Principal Sandy Leigh says.

Breakfast Club helps to create a community of joyful learners and school staff.

Rosa (SNS worker) says, “When the body has moved and the belly is satisfied the student is ready for learning.”

 

Breakfast Club Alternatives

What if you don’t have this kind of school community support initially?

  • Start small. You can do this in a classroom, or grade level classrooms or buddy classrooms.
  • A teacher or morning coordinator can assign kids to come early, bring in one breakfast snack foods, (i.e. 1 cantaloupe). The teacher can cut it into 25 pieces and everyone has a slice of fresh fruit in the morning. Student can practice fractions if given a plate and plastic knife and told to cut it in: Half into fourths, or thirds into sixths etc.
  • For physical activity you can have a personal best jump rope contest or do an easy desk energizer game such as this one from Michigan Department of Education.

    Remember, there is always a way to begin. Start small, test it out and then build on it weekly or monthly.

What if you want to target kids who need extra support from school, (i.e. chronically late or truant students or students identified to with special leadership ability)?

  1. Have a conversation with your principal outlining your plan
  2. Identify students you want to target
  3. Give teachers a memo about your plan
  4. Send letters to targeted parents with RSVP
  5. Send fun invitation to students
  6. Remind students the night before using PA system (if you want lots of students to show up)
  7. Repeat steps 4 - 6 for at least six weeks (until parents and students begin to really understand the importance of this event)
  8. Coach student helpers the night before to help Breakfast Club run more smoothly the next day (optional)

Ideas/Suggestions

  • Assign a good dependable student with a tardy student (give them matching T-shirts to wear on the morning of breakfast club – optional)
  • Review layout if necessary
  • Utilize Sign-in Sheets every week (this helps keep track of participants)
  • Set up each station

 

divider

Back to In Action Stories

 

 

Nutrition Education Project Logo

Student, Family and Community Support DepartmentSan Francisco Unified School District