Inside the Story: Students eat free breakfast in the classroom through federal program

Inside the Story: Students eat free breakfast in the classroom through federal program (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) A new breakfast program for elementary students is changing the way kids learn.

That's because teachers in the Salt Lake City School District believe a fed child is a happy child.

The program is called Breakfast in the Classroom, and is available for all students -- not just kids from low-income families.

Six elementary schools in the district have implemented the federally-funded program.

"Everybody gets to start the day with some food in their bellies," said Katie Kapusta, child nutrition supervisor.

The breakfast bags are a little different every morning.

Kids choose from two different types of fruits and two different entrees. Then they bring it back to the classroom to eat.

"It's a nutritionally complete breakfast," said Kapusta. "We follow the same nutritional regulations we do at the other schools that do a regular breakfast program."

Teachers say the program has made a huge difference in their students' performance.

"They are not tired. They are able to focus," said Allison Crisher, a second-grade teacher at Washington Elementary. "Their stomachs aren't growling so they are not coming to me asking if they can have a snack."

Kids are also not showing up late to school.

"We've seen an increase of our percentage of students arriving on time," said John Kelly, principal of Washington Elementary. "We've seen discipline issues go down in the morning."

The district is hoping to start implementing this program into some of their other elementary schools as funding becomes available. Funding comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But right now, they are going off the criteria that 80 percent of the students in the school are either part of a free or reduced lunch program.

For more information about the breakfast program, visit this website.