National School Breakfast Week kicks off at Cunningham ES

Pre-K and kindergarten students bounced in time while Panic! at the Disco’s “High Hopes” pumped from a stereo as they lined up for breakfast in the Cunningham Elementary School cafeteria.

The Cunningham kitchen staff provides a rotating variety of breakfast options, so students have something different to look forward to every day. From breakfast staples, like cereal and yogurt with granola, to more exciting fare, like chicken and waffles and lemon bars, HISD students who take advantage of school breakfast start their days off strong and energized for the day ahead.

HISD students have access to school-provided breakfast every day, but today, there were even more students participating in celebration of National School Breakfast Week (NSBW).

Established in 1989, NSBW highlights the importance of having a nutritious breakfast to jumpstart a student’s day. Studies show marked improvements in attendance, concentration, comprehension, and even higher standardized test scores in students who eat school breakfast.

Pre-Kindergarten teacher Alejandra Acevedo sees a major difference in the students who eat breakfast before their lessons in the morning.

“They’re happier and they pay attention to their lessons,” Acevedo said. “They’re not distracted thinking ‘I’m hungry, I’m hungry.’”

While breakfast is available every day, HISD’s Nutrition Services department sought to make NSBW especially fun and memorable for students. This year’s NSBW theme “Take Off with School Breakfast” is meant to excite students and parents, complete with prizes and challenges to encourage involvement.

The Pre-K and kindergarten Cunningham students were gifted a sheet of NSBW stickers with their breakfast of yogurt, cereal, and juice, as well as a soundtrack of some of their favorite Disney songs and other tunes to jam to as they ate.

“The music got them all hyped up,” Cunningham Kitchen Manager Melissa San Miguel said, praising Cunningham students for their regular participation school breakfast.

“Most of our kids do eat breakfast,” San Miguel said. “Every day it’s something different. They really seem to like the jalapeno kolaches. They’re a little bit spicy for me!”