My classroom is an inner-city low socioeconomic classroom. All of my students receive free lunch and breakfast. We are considered to be a trauma-sensitive school with a variety of behaviors that we deal with on a daily basis. We attempt to calm, comfort, be consistent, and present each behavior as a learning opportunity to make a better choice. However, it is hard to focus on learning or self-managing behavior when you come to school hungry! Even with the modest school lunch and breakfast, my students are still hungry and with so many other things on their plate that children should not have to deal with, it breaks my heart to not be able to feed them.
I am a single parent myself and buy healthy snacks when I can but it is a challenge for 23 kids.
I want the best for these kids. I want an even playing field for them. I have done this project before and saw a difference in student academics, behavior, and even self-esteem. I also saw an effect on my own efficacy. Not having the stress of knowing I had hungry students made me a better teacher.
Healthy snacks are needed in our classroom to help my students be able to focus on their work. Their tummies are growling by the afternoon and some I know haven't eaten since lunch the previous day! My students will fight over food and I don't have the resources to assist with what they need on my own!
My students need their basic needs met before I can meet any other needs they may have.
Knowing they will get one more snack before going home alleviates some stress for them and allows us to get focused on the work. With a large homeless population, I have to ask for a village of help!
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