Pilot Breakfast Program Coming to Tolland Middle School

The program will begin in mid-May and will run until the end of the year.

Photo Credit: Patch
Photo Credit: Patch
Starting in mid-May, a breakfast program will be offered at Tolland Middle School.

The plan will provide a nutritious breakfast, following all of the guidelines of the School Breakfast Programs, and will be available in the cafeteria between 7:30 a.m. and 7:58 a.m. 

Food service staff will have “grab and go” style options available and each student will be able to go through the line and check out quickly using the district’s point of sale system.

Breakfast will cost $1.50 for all paid students and will be free for all students eligible for free or reduced price meals. The cost of the program will be self-sustaining.

The program is a pilot program and it will run until the end of the school year. Hot and cold options will be offered.

Superintendent of Schools William Guzman said that research has repeatedly shown that eating breakfast improves school performance, reduces behavioral problems, improves children’s diets, and can help reduce obesity. 

He said that in Tolland, many students, especially at the secondary level, are visiting the nurse’s office in the morning complaining of headaches and stomach aches. Most frequently, these visits are due to the fact that the student has not eaten breakfast. 

He added that over the past couple of years, Abby Kassman-Harned, Director of Food Services, has received e-mails from the nursing staff supporting the idea of breakfast in the school district.

According to Guzman, there has recently been strong encouragement from the Connecticut Department of Education and from Gov. Dannel Malloy to implement and/or expand SBP. In January, a letter was sent to all Superintendents of Schools from Stefan Pryor, Commissioner of Education in support of the SBP.

It has been estimated that Connecticut does not take advantage of approximately $22 million in federal reimbursement money by not serving breakfast to students. Tolland’s portion of this amount is approximately $74,000. These figures are based on 2010 meal participation.

Chris Grulke, Nursing Coordinator for Tolland Schools, and Kassman-Harned have been working with TMS Principal Walter Willett to introduce the program for the middle school students.
McW April 30, 2013 at 08:01 AM
Just another example of parents relinquishing responsibility to a third party and wanting the system to change its behavior so they don't have to. i alwasy assummed it was the parents job to make sure their kids ate in order to "improve school performance, reduce behavioral problems, improve children's diets and help reduce obesity". And self sustaining at $1.50? Come on now. We're all a little smarter than that. But as long as the feds are helping with the funding, why not, right? They have tons of money to spend on these essentila programs.
Tolland Parent April 30, 2013 at 09:23 AM
HEY PARENTS !!!!!, get your butts out of bed and make your children some breakfast.
Jim G. April 30, 2013 at 05:18 PM
Kids are kids - I have no doubt that many of them are leaving houses full of breakfast options, with parents who are weary of trying to get them to eat something before running out to the bus. Another option for them to get something to eat can only be a good thing.
Haili Bonk April 30, 2013 at 10:59 PM
"Kids are kids." EXCELLENT point Jim! I guess if kids with food at home prefer not to eat it, I owe still more of my paycheck to the government program which purports to solve this horrific problem. Thanks for clearing this up for the "drivel" contingent. When you see Max in the mirror while shaving tomorrow, say hey for us!
McW May 01, 2013 at 08:12 AM
Hey Jim G., with that mindset, it'll only be a matter of time before we run a pilot program offering dinner for out little ones.


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