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Giving students easier access to food is always a good thing, but the service has to be properly regulated and monitored. Viewers brought up some good questions tonight, including the cleanliness of the practice and possible disruptions during class. I think it's possible if the meals are served during homeroom or before the class begins and are healthy, easy-to-eat foods, such as cereals, fruits etc. This way, students get a nutritious breakfast that's not taking away from class time.
The City Council approved a plan today to provide free breakfast in the classroom for every public school student. The Council approved two resolutions, one calling on the City Department of Education to provide classroom breakfasts, and the other urging the State Legislature to mandate the City offer the breakfasts.
Advocates say the move means more hungry kids can now eat breakfast. Currently, the City offers breakfast to students in school cafeterias regardless of income, but advocates say the City would feed more hungry children if it provided breakfast in the classroom at the start of the school day, rather than just making it available in the cafeteria. They say giving students a nutritional breakfast can increase educational performance, decrease absenteeism, and cut down on visits to the school nurse.
City officials, including Mayor Bloomberg, disagree. They fear offering free breakfast in the classroom will result in some students eating two breakfasts, contributing to or worsening the obesity rate among the City’s public school children. Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott had argued it should be up to the principals to opt into the program. Some even raised sanitation concerns and argued breakfast in the classroom will increase the workload for custodial staff. What do you say?
Do you support the City Council’s push to provide free breakfast in the classroom? Should it be mandatory, or should principals decide whether to take part in the program? Does your child currently take advantage of the DOE’s free breakfast in the cafeteria?
Respond with your thoughts using the link above.
I have been a NYC educator for over 20 years and I honestly feel that ALL CHILDREN should be fed breakfast in the classroom!
This is the most important meal of the day and it gives students, no matter what age, the brain power needed!
I think that care and concern need to be taken into what is served of course. The items served now, are disgusting and show no healthy guidelines whatsoever.
I don't think that administrators should have the opportunity to choose......
Some NYC kids only eat what they are served in schools each day!
If these students were served the right, proper foods, then maybe they wouldn't run for the sugary drinks after school for the energy they need.
Looking forward to the conversation this evening.
PS I would pilot this in my classroom, if the City Council wants me to!
Breakfast in the classroom sounds like an excellent idea if all the kinks that it might create can be worked out, and I'm sure they can, after all everything we as a society can do on behalf of our children is worth the effort.
I completely disagree with the program. Who is going to be cleaning up after the children, when the drop food on the floor, make crumbs, spill liquid, etc. etc.? Are teachers now going to be responsible for that too? Who is going to wash their hands and face after they eat (the younger ones)? Will that be the teacher also? What ever happened to a parent feeding his/her child breakfast in the house before leaving for school? What ever happened to school cafeterias offering free breakfast to those who can't afford breakfast at home? Contain the mess to the school cafeteria, not each classroom.
Allow parents to feed their children not the public educational system.
Children's nutrition and health concerns are the responsibility of the parents.
If a parent cannot afford to feed their children the city could offer the family assistance, not the Board of Education.
The Education system should focus on teaching children, not feeding them. Lunch break during the school day is necessary. Breakfast and dinner is not.
If any meal is provided by the BOE it should only be lunch for needy children.
Remember it is the Board of Education not a Welfare agency.
(One addition point - Do not allow businesses to push the city to pay for extra things. The say it is for the children but it will also enrich certain vendors.)
Our local government at work again tackling the tough issues, we should all sleep better at night knowing they are on the case. I take it this proposal stems from what we have been hearing about kids being ashamed to eat the free breakfast or lunch. When did this become a problem, when did children start getting picked on for eating lunch? I thought we had all this anti-bullying awareness going on, guess that hasn't worked like everything else they do now. Students need breakfast to help them from being distracted during those early morning hours that is not some big revelation. If other students are harassing kids who eat breakfast in the morning, write them up for disrupting school activities, inform their parents that their kids are being obnoxious and keep the day moving. I agree that the logistics of having food in a classroom could be problematic to say the least if it is anything above a piece of fruit and a carton of milk. Just get rid of the asinine stigma being spread by students (and probably some ignorant parents) and let these kids just eat their breakfast in peace. What a miserable society we live in when this is even an issue, it speaks volumes to how far on Circles of Hell tour we have gone.
As for Bloomberg's reasoning against it, just sounds like more of Mike's OCD again. If I thought he really cared about people's health overall then I would give it a grain of salt, but since I know from personal experience he will plot and plan to cut people's medical benefits in what would be a heart beat if he had one, this just sounds like he doesn't like people he considers overweight. Just add them to the list of undesirables he wants out of New York City along with most minorities, unions, and the working class. He's worried about some children eating breakfast twice, what if those two meals make up most of what they eat in a day? And kids wouldn't be so out of shape if they actually still had gym and recess like I used to have way back in the 80's.
terrific plan: if parents know that their children are getting breakfast in school, they shouldn't feed them at home - give them better dinners. It can be used as a teaching/learning experience - clean hands, good and balanced meals, clean-up while recycling. All sounds good to me.
that's very nice where is my free meals?
What may I ask is or are the parents responsibilities?
If we feed them
that measn they can have more kids they dont have to feed
I for one am tired of my taxes being spent on children of people who are so irresponsible that they cant even plan on feeding them
IF YOU CAN NOT AFFORD A CHILD DONT HAVE ONE
I dont own a car cause I cant afford one maybe people should only have what they can afford novel idea to do without
Upper West Side
Social welfare at it's finest. Forget getting better books, more activities, give them more food and give it to them for free.
As a public school teacher I see so many students take their free breakfast and actually throw it out. Furthermore, the healthy and or nutritious options are few and far between. The food is either processed or full of genetically modified foods. Fresh fruit, juice, and milk would be a healthy, affordable, and sustainable option.
Well, I see that the Mayor doesn't have a monopoly on stupid ideas.
A classroom is not a cafeteria. If breakfast is to be served, it should be there.
Plus, who's going to clean up after the students eat? Will there now be a new class of employees, school waiters? Would these waiters also take your order to be delivered to the classroom?
I worked in school for many years. Breakfast in the classroom everyday will create a bug infestation problem. It should only be served in the cafeteria to all that want it.
If the breakfast will be sugar-coated cereal or flavors like Sir Choc-O-Lat, it shouldn't be implemented.
Upper East Side
Why is the city council even bothering where the students eat. Don't they have better things to worry about. And real smart. Let's bring.g more vermin and roaches to the classrooms
No not a good idea It should all be stopped This is the parents job ! Can't / don't wanna feed your kids Don't have them I went to schools whose job was to Educate this is a parents job !
I think it's a good idea to have breakfast in schools. There are more children that don't eat breakfast than there are those that do. As far as eating two breakfast, the parents that feed their children in the morning should simply, give the child a snack or nothing at all because they now know that the child will have a nutricious meal waiting for them when they get to school.
Free breakfast is now available in the cafeteria for all students. All parents have to do is get their child to school on time. So now we take the onus and responsibility off the parents and put it on the teachers. Teachers, in addition to everything else will now be waitresses/waiters, having to serve breakfast during class time, clean-up and then get the children refocused on learning. With all the push on test scores we are now taking away class time from learning so teachers can take on another parental responsibility to serve breakfast. And who cleans up the mess from the children? Who delivers the meals and picks up the trash?
I am an NYC public school teacher and I'm tired of people who are not educators trying to tell us what works best in our classrooms! My school tried the breakfast in the classroom program and it was not effective for us. Students in my school (like all other NYC public schools) can get breakfast for free in the school cafeteria every morning. Most students in my school eat in the cafeteria because it allows them to have social time before school starts. When we had breakfast in the classroom, the program caused a disruption and a delay in the start of lessons. Teachers had to allow eating time for the children who chose to participate in the program while those who had already eaten in the cafeteria were idle. There also had to be time for clean up, which was imperative since our school has roaches and mice. Additionally, students were no longer motivated to come to school early or on time because they knew breakfast would be served in the classroom (breakfast is served in the cafeteria from 7:20 a.m. - 7:50 a.m.--10 minutes before school starts). I strongly disagree with Theresa Hassler when she said that the breakfast time could be inconvenient for students and parents. We need to demand that students arrive on time and not allow for any more excuses!
OUT OF TOUCH MAYOR WHO WAS NEVER HUNGRY , IF THE KIDS COME TO SCHOOL LETS PROVIDE THEM ALL THE TOOLS FOR EDUCATION INCLUDING NUTRITION AND SOCIAL SKILLS ..THE OBEISITY ARGUMENT IS WAY OFF GIVEN THE GUIDLINES OF NUTRITIONIST .. RIKERS ISLAND INMATES GET BREAKFEAST WHY NOT OUR KIDS ?
Only in the poor neighborhoods. The city can't afford to feed every student.
I bet food distributors are salivating over how many millions of dollars they can rip off from the city on this one. What's next, a three course dinner?
Finally a great idea. I would be very willing to pay more in taxes every week if it means that our kids can get a decent breakfast and lunch during the school day. Make it mandatory.
If the students won't eat in the very large cafeteria, why do you think they're are going to eat it right in front of their friends? It would be a waste. I cannot see this working on the middle school or high school level.
I think that this proposal is a brilliant idea. When I get ready for school in the morning, I unfortunately have to skip breakfast. However, it's not because of income problems, it's simply because if I stop for breakfast I will have no time to do my daily routine and I will end up being tardy. If they did bring this idea forward, many children will be well fed and ready to take on the day. It will also help other students who have trouble in school be able to focus more on the lesson and not on how hungry they are. There is a problem with the waste left behind, but as long as the children clean up after themselves and the janitors clean the rooms at the end of the day, insects and vermin should be the last thing on everyone's minds.
Are you kidding me! Why not have showers and toothbrushes in the classroom. Lets relegate all responsibilities from the home to the schools.
I AGREE WITH CARMEN FROM FORT GREENE..RATHER THEN HAVE BREAKFAST IN THE CLASSROOM...THERE SHOULD BE A GRACE PERIOD WHERE THEY CAN HAVE TIME TO GET TO SCHOOL TO EAT BREAKFAST...AFTER ALL BREAKFAST IS THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY..NOT EVERY PARENT CAN PROVIDE BREAKFAST FOR THEIR CHILDREN...SO A GRACE PERIOD FOR A LITTLE EXTRA TIME TO EAT BREAKFAST IN SCHOOL IS DEFINITELY A GOOD IDEA
I think that this is a good idea, aswell as a poor decision. If the schools buy healthy breakfasts for the children and have it for free then it will be a big factor in the school's funding and children will have to wake up earlier if they want to make it intime for the free breakfast(some schools have busses!). However, this would help the families that are in need of some extra help. E-mail me back on what you think and counter my arguement.
Ditto to Joyce's comments from Kew Gardens Hills.
How is a teacher going to get the mandated instruction in, as well as making sure kids pass state mandated tests, and then also clean up after them, deal with social issues that occur with food? And is Bloomberg also going to grade teachers on making sure the kids eat in addition to giving them ratings based on test performance?
These administrators and higher ups have no idea what a teacher deals with on a daily basis. Do not add additional responsibilities to classroom teachers!
I think that the Mayor is totally out of touch as are some of the people think this a social welfare issue. To all of you there are haves and have nots. Dont look down your nose at the less fortunate. I have seen some people spend more on one meal than others can afford for a week. There are programs for Drug addicts and other programs that we pay for. I would rather feed a Child.
No child should start their day hungry or be educationally disadvantaged due to poor nutrition.
The Mayor's caveats are valid concerns, but let's not throw out the bagel with the dishwater.
Regarding the breakfast. Great to serve them BEFORE class. However, they should rethink the QUALITY and nutritional value of what is served. Pancakes and syrup? Not healthy. The yogurt served has a LOT of sugar. The bagels are like cardboard and half the kids throw them out anyhow because they are inedible. Most of what my students are served (yes I am a teacher) is often thrown out because it is "gross." Many of my students also refuse to eat what is served for that same reason. It would be a waste and most of them are getting breakfast at the bodega - and these are 11-12 year olds.
From my understanding FREE breakfast is already served in the cafeteria during the school. If kids come late for that breakfast they will come late for breakfast in the classroom.
Teaching should take place in the classroom noting eating breakfast.
I totally disagree with breakfast being eaten in the classroom. Eating in the classroom is a major distraction. Breakfast should be given before class.
When are the parents going to be responsible for their children? I am a teacher and a parent. My children are fed at home, not school. As a teacher, I am expected to teach in a classroom that smells of food after serving breakfast in my classroom?? Who's cleaning it up? I think this is a horrible idea!