Created: 12/13/2013 5:49 PM KSTP.com
By: Jenna Lohse
(ABC 6 News) -- A handful of Rochester Public Schools have been awarded a grant to help their students be better prepared. We spent the day at Gage Elementary, where their students enjoy breakfast in the classroom every day.
“They grab their breakfast, they start eating and while they're eating they're working,” said 5th grade teacher, Samantha Kubiska.
For Gage Elementary students, their new morning routine works great. Students can now grab and go and fuel up on breakfast in the classroom.
"They have their favorites, there's french toast, pancakes, there's strudels,” said Kubiska.
In previous years, students had the option of buying their strudel in the cafeteria. But ‘breakfast in the classroom’ has more than doubled the number of students eating breakfast.
"It took a while to get used to it, but I think the kids have really done a nice job establishing the program and that routine,” said Kubiska.
Gage is just one out of four Rochester Public Schools who received a school breakfast challenge grant. The grant funding goes toward food carts and key pads for the program.
"We want make sure that every student when they come in to the classroom is well prepared and can succeed academically,” said Jason Langworth, outreach specialist with Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota.
Jason Langworthy works with Children's Defense Fund Minnesota. One of the groups who sponsor the grants across the state. Under the new program, free and reduced price students - which is well over half of Gage’s student population - get breakfast for free.
"Students who eat breakfast perform better in the classroom, they score better on the statewide standardize tests,” said Langworthy.
"Breakfast in the classroom" provides healthier food choices, so for teachers, the program is a win-win.
"If it helps them be better prepared for the school day it's absolutely beneficial,” said Kubiska.
John Adams, Willow Creek and Riverside Central were also awarded a grant for "breakfast in the classroom." Bamber Valley and Longfellow Elementary implemented a breakfast program as well.