Announcements from the WI DPI School Nutrition Team (SNT)
- Updates from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) School Nutrition Team
- Other Available Information
Please join the Wisconsin School Nutrition Team and other school nutrition directors from across the state on June 19, 2019 at Chula Vista Resort in the Wisconsin Dells at our first ever workshop to increase student participation in the school meal programs. Participants will learn about creative solutions for improving meal program participation. Through facilitated conversation and peer-to-peer discussion, attendees will identify strategies to implement and leave the workshop with a plan of action for moving forward. Additional information, including an agenda for the day, are available on the School Nutrition Training webpage (https://dpi.wi.gov/school-nutrition/training/increase-participation-work...). The cost to attend the workshop is $30. Breakfast and lunch are included in this cost. Registration ends on Sunday, May 19, 2019.
Offering breakfast after the morning bell is a great way to boost participation in school breakfast programs. Traditional school breakfast programs often require students to arrive at school at least 15 minutes before the start of the school day. This can be a big barrier to hungry students. Breakfast after the bell can help all students enjoy a nutritious breakfast by maximizing convenience and overcoming barriers to participation.
Longfellow Elementary School in West Allis changed their breakfast program from a traditional model to a breakfast in the classroom model. This change nearly tripled the number of students participating in the breakfast program. Be sure to check out the video showcasing their program. Congratulations Longfellow Elementary! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_5uLz6pDo0)
There are several factors to consider when deciding whether or not to start a breakfast program. First, it is important to assess the current situation at your school. Surveys are an excellent tool to help assess your school’s level of interest in starting a breakfast program. Distribute the survey to students and parents to learn more about their patterns of breakfast behavior. Are your students eating breakfast? What are their favorite foods? Are parents struggling to find time to feed their students breakfast at home? Results from the survey can be compiled into an administrator survey that provides an overview for determining your school’s readiness to start a breakfast program.
Second, determine the target audience that the program will serve. Is your school an elementary, middle, high school, or combination? Who makes up the population you will be serving? What are their demographics? This will help to assess the needs of the group and the tactics that should be used to make the breakfast program a success. For example, a campaign with a cute mascot and colorful cartoon characters may not be successful in targeting a high school group. Similarly, you would not hand out wordy flyers to elementary students.
Last, it is important to get the support of key stakeholders. Assess the interest of key players in starting a breakfast program. Does the community feel parents should feed students breakfast? Does the principal/administrator think that breakfast is important? Is the School Board receptive to the School Breakfast Program? The School Breakfast Program benefits not only the food service program, but also parents, students, teachers, and principals. Parents are assured knowing they have another option for providing a nutritious breakfast for their children. Principals and teachers see improved attendance, reduced tardiness, and improved academic performance in students. Determine who needs more information and provide the necessary statistics or studies to educate them on why breakfast continues to be the most important meal of the day.
Find out more in the DPI School Nutrition Team’s resource called Serving Up a Successful School Breakfast Program: A Guide for School Breakfast Implementation (https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/school-nutrition/pdf/serving...).
The Delta Dental of Wisconsin Foundation is excited to announce that its new Cool Water Program will kick off in 2019 (https://smilesuite.deltadentalwi.com/charitable-fund/cool-water-program). Through the program, schools can apply to have an existing water fountain replaced with a new water bottle filling station and fountain. The grant covers the cost of the full installation and provides toothbrushes and dishwasher-safe water bottles for all students and staff as well.
- Schools need to be within a community with optimally fluoridated water
- Schools must have a 40% or higher rate for students approved for free and reduced price meals
- Schools can apply if they currently do not have a water bottle filling station installed
- Selection will be based on the most creative and impactful implementation plans that will encourage students and staff to drink more water
Applications will be available from February 1 through March 31 on the Delta Dental of Wisconsin Foundation’s website, www.deltadentalwi.com/foundation. Schools will be selected and awarded the grants in April, with installation planned for the summer.
This is a communication from the WI Department of Public Instruction, School Nutrition Team.
You can contact the School Nutrition Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. To subscribe to schoolmealsnews, please send an email to email@example.com.
WI DPI School Nutrition Team · PO Box 7841 · WI Department of Public Instruction · Madison, WI 53707-7841 · USA