Lincoln Middle School Student Improvement Fueled By Breakfast Consumption
LINCOLN MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT IMPROVEMENT
FUELED BY BREAKFAST CONSUMPTION
New Program Leads to Increased Attendance and Academic Engagement
Lancaster, PA (November 10, 2016) – The fact that at Lincoln Middle School grades are up and disciplinary referrals are down doesn’t surprise the school principal, Dr. Josh Keene.
Since launching a breakfast after-the-bell program last school year, Dr. Keene and the Lincoln Middle School staff have noted that attendance has improved, the school has seen a 50% reduction in the suspension rate, and students are more engaged in academic time from the start of the school day.
“Since offering alternative models to school breakfast, we now have increased the number of our students participating by over 200% and can really see the difference,” Keene said. “Breakfast after the bell gives our kids the fuel they need to work hard and stay focused and productive all day. The most noticeable difference is the sense of community and improved relationships between students and school staff,” he added.
To make it easy for kids to grab breakfast and get to class, the School District of Lancaster provided breakfast kiosks in the school’s hallways for 6th and 7th grade students. Also, 8th graders have the option to visit one of the kiosks until their cart arrives on site in the next month or so. And it works -- while the state average is less than 45% breakfast participation, nearly three-quarters of the middle schoolers in the targeted grades at Lincoln are eating breakfast every day.
National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week kicks off on November 12 and is a good reminder that many children in Lancaster County regularly experience food insecurity. With the help of a grant from the Giant Food’s Our Family Foundation and funding from the United Way’s Pathways Out of Poverty Collaborative, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank was able to hire a School Breakfast Outreach Coordinator to promote alternative breakfast delivery models like breakfast-after-the-bell in Lancaster County. The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, a member of the Hunger-Free Lancaster County coalition, has identified school breakfast as an important means of ending food insecurity in children. The coalition has worked closely with the School District of Lancaster to encourage more students to get breakfast.
Media Note: On Tuesday, November 15 at 7:30 a.m., Lincoln Middle School will host a media availability to discuss their thriving breakfast program and the impact it has had on student engagement. Principal Dr. Josh Keene will be there to speak to the media. Staff, parents, the district’s Food Service Director and students will also be available for comment.
About the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank
The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is a not-for-profit organization that is able to reduce hunger in 27 counties across Pennsylvania. By working with more than 900 local agencies the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank provides food to more than 65,000 people in need every week. For more information on the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and its mission to reduce hunger in Pennsylvania, visit centralpafoodbank.org or call 717.564.1700.