Books, Binders And Breakfast In The Classroom

April 28, 2011 Updated Apr 28, 2011 at 6:42 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztlaos

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April 28, 2011 Updated Apr 28, 2011 at 6:42 PM EDT

In Buffalo Public Schools, you will find pencils, books and now breakfast.

"It's a new fresh start to each day," Dr. Charles R. Drew Magnet School student Malha Khan.

The Dr. Charles R. Drew Science Magnet School started with breakfast in the classroom the first day of school back in September. Principal Denise Luka said the program has made an impact on her students.

"It creates a family environment and I truly believe breaking bread together promotes family environment and family atmosphere exactly what we are trying to promote here at Charles R. Drew School," Luka said.

The school hosted a meeting with teachers across Western and Central New York wanting to know more about the program. They even invited NFL Hall of Famer and Child Hunger Advocate Thurman Thomas to encourage other districts to get involved.

"Kids are our future and I have four kids of my own so I know how important this is to get the word out and help these kids live a better life," Thomas said.

Luka said it takes the distraction of the cafeteria out of the student's morning routine. She said because of the intimate setting of the classroom it does a whole lot more.

"Many students were hesitant to eat breakfast because of bullying, self-esteem issues, body image a lot of the problems students face so now we have more students eating breakfast," Luka said.

Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Richard Kreipe said not eating breakfast affects every aspects of a child's day.

"Kids who don't eat breakfast have more problems at school, poor attendance, referrals to principal for behavior problems, detention, just from an education standpoint. Kids who do eat breakfast do better in all those areas," Kreipe said.

The students like the program for other reasons.

"You get to eat with your teacher and your friends," Khan said.

Currently, there are 25 schools involved but next year the entire district will be part of the program.