More time for learning, Hollister students now eat breakfast in the classroom

Published: Sep. 13, 2019 at 1:19 PM CDT
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Mornings are going more smoothly and more quietly at one Ozarks school. The Hollister School District decided to try having kids eat breakfast at their desks.

"People can just come up, one-by-one, grab what they need, and go to their classroom," 5th Grade Student Ethan Daniels said.

After picking up their breakfast on their way to their classrooms, kids get right to work.

"They just come in, I don't really have to tell them what to do. They check the board, they get their stuff done, they eat breakfast. It goes really smoothly," Teacher Sydney Gariss said.

This year, students don't go to the cafeteria or the gym right when they get to school.

"They were in the holding tank, so we called it, in the gym for 20 minutes. Sometimes we had a video playing, sometimes they read, they visited with each other, but there was a lot of impatience," Principal Nina Henson said.

Instead, they now start off in a calmer environment.

"When we were taking them from the gym, they were already with their buddies, they were talking. Now, bringing them in the classroom like this, they're quiet, they're ready to start the day, I don't have to address any issues," Gariss said.

However, this new process isn't only about setting kids up for success in the classroom, but also about forming healthy habits for their futures.

"No one is missing out on having that first meal of the day," Henson said.

It's about showing kids that healthy eating habits can make a big impact.

"Food for our brain, makes our brain power more," Henson said. "We say that we are committed to learning, we say we are committed to kids. So, what we've done is we've given back to kids and given them time back in the classroom."

The breakfast that's served in the classroom has to meet certain nutrition requirements. Kids get fruit, milk, and then choose from something like cereal or granola bars.

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