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New student breakfast program making trial run at Alden school

A new program geared toward making sure students eat breakfast is going through its trial run at Alden Primary School, and so far the results have been good.

The program, which provides breakfast in the classroom to third-graders in two rooms, began during the second week of school, said Food Service Director Anita Trautwein.

“The kids eat while they do their bell work,” she said at Thursday night’s meeting of the Alden Central School Board. “It’s working out really nice.”

Not all of the students eat breakfast in the classroom, Trautwein said. Parents were sent a letter explaining the program before it started and were able to opt out of their child receiving the breakfast.

While making sure students are eating breakfast is the primary goal of the program, it also provides a chance to teach the children about healthy eating as a group, Trautwein said.

The program creates some extra work for the teachers involved, but they are willing to do it if it yields results, she said.

“They’re hoping they see the overall results of how the students work throughout the morning having all eaten,” Trautwein said.

If the program continues to go well, the school will look into getting other classrooms involved, she said.

Along similar lines, Alden High School will soon have a breakfast kiosk just inside the main doors of the school to provide students a quick and easy opportunity to grab breakfast, Trautwein said.

“We’re going to bring breakfast to them, instead of them coming to us,” she said. “This way, they’ll have more time to eat.”

Trautwein sat down with high school students last year to see how the district could do a better job of getting the students to eat breakfast, and the kiosk is the result of that, she said.

“The high school kids have to get to their lockers and get their books within 10 minutes of getting off of the bus,” Trautwein said. “The lockers are all over the place. They don’t have time to go to breakfast.”

The kiosk should be up and running in October, she said.

In other action, several members of the board have met with Erie 1 BOCES Superintendent Donald Ogilvie in regard to the district’s search for a new superintendent, said School Board President Paul Hutschenreuter.

Ogilvie will help the board during the search process. A timeline for the search is expected to be provided by Oct. 17. The timeline and an outline of the search process will be available online at the board’s website.