The Allen County-Scottsville High School’s cafeteria staff and principal Joseph Cosby have received recognition as the Kentucky Breakfast Champions---an honor bestowed by the Dairy Alliance and
Feeding Kentucky. The award is in recognition for the highly-successful second-chance
breakfast program started this year---a program in which hundreds of high
school students have a second opportunity for breakfast each school day.
“Mr. Cosby and I had talked about second chance breakfast a little bit last school year,” explained Robin Herrington, Food Services Director for Allen County Schools. “Then late summer, he said ‘let’s start second-chance breakfast when school starts. Susan York (Food Service Assistant) and I began to put things in motion to get it started as quickly as possible. We had no idea how many kids would take this opportunity to eat later in the morning, but we had heard lots of success stories from other districts.”
The second chance breakfast---scheduled during
the break between the first and second block classes---has exceeded expectations.
“We were serving around 200 students at the normal 7 a.m. breakfast,” Herrington noted. “We thought we would run two lines in the cafeteria and a cart in the lobby area for the second chance breakfast. We purchased a cart and a computer for the lobby and added some additional staff. We started serving second chance breakfast on August 20. The cafeteria staff was a little stressed preparing two breakfasts (7:00 and 9:05) and all the while preparing lunch for 650-700 students.”
Students began to take advantage of the opportunity---in
“By the end of the first week, we had increased our breakfast served from 200 to 500 meals, Herrington added. “Now we are serving 600 meals most days. We are running all four lines plus the breakfast cart in the lobby area. So overall, we have tripled our meals served. I am thrilled with the participation because breakfast is the most important meal of the day and studies have shown nutrition affects student achievement.”
The volume of second-chance breakfast
traffic necessitated Cosby to extend passing time between first and second
blocks---from six minutes at the start of the program to 13 minutes currently.
Students can grab breakfast during the class change and then eat their
breakfast in classrooms as second block gets underway.
“They (students) actually give us a fuss if we have a week, because of something like testing, where we can’t serve the second chance breakfast because they actually enjoy eating it,” Cosby said. “The biggest challenge we had to overcome was the instructional time for teachers, but we were able to fix that by rearranging the schedule.”
The hard work and dedication put forth by the high school’s food service staff prompted Herrington to nominate her employees and nominate Cosby for his vision in getting the program started.
“The Kentucky School Breakfast Challenge celebrates and highlights leaders and their schools across the Commonwealth who go above and beyond to make breakfast happen for Kentucky kids,” explains the program’s website.
Herrington, the AC-S breakfast
staff, and Cosby learned of their selection as Kentucky State Champions on
Tuesday, March 5 during a special visit from officials representing the sponsoring
agencies---the Kentucky Dairy Alliance, No Kid Hungry, and KY Kids Eat. The
high school cafeteria will receive a $2,000 equipment prize pack and a
celebration which will include high school staff and students.