A Taste of Success
My name is Monica Bromber-Karis. I am the Director of Dining Services at Noble Network of Charter Schools. Here at Noble, we place a high value on the health and nutrition of our students. We’re always looking for ways to make healthy food more accessible for them. So when my I heard that our CEO, Constance Jones, had a connection with the Greater Chicago Food Depository and that they wanted to partner with us, I jumped at the opportunity to work with them. You see, in recent years, the number of students in Illinois who eat breakfast plummeted. We wanted to prevent that from happening at Noble. Students who skip breakfast have a harder time concentrating at school. We did not want that to be the story at Noble.
So last year, my team and I met with representatives of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. They graciously offered to provide us with whatever we needed – and let’s be real, our needs were diverse. At Noble, each school is so unique. They have very different cultures with very different student needs, preferences, and tastes. There would not be a one-size-fits-all approach to breakfast at Noble. We did know, however, that we wanted to offer a breakfast-in-the-classroom program. We offered this program to all schools and Golder College Prep eagerly signed up.
For some students and staff, having breakfast during your first class is new – it was hard to imagine what it would look like. But the Golder leadership team knew that this could be game-changing for students, so they took a whole minute from each instructional period and added those minutes to morning advisory, where students would have the time to enjoy their morning breakfast. And guess what – it worked! The percentage of Golder students eating breakfast went from 12% during the last school year to 60% this school year.
The improvements were so amazing that Amazon partnered with The Greater Chicago Food Depository to fund a breakfast celebration for the students. The two highest advisories with the highest number of students eating breakfast got water bottles, mugs and in-season peaches. All students got special additions to their breakfasts – fresh, in-season peaches. Teachers all received a special breakfast as well. We’re excited about these results and what this means for our students.