TRENT WOODS, N.C. (WNCT) – The first full week of March is National School Breakfast Week. It’s a time designated by the School Nutrition Association to recognize the important benefits breakfast brings students.

At A.H. Bangert Elementary School in Trent Woods, Cafeteria Manager Sara Cuttic said they are celebrating with a special breakfast menu for the week. At their school, students do not eat breakfast in the cafeteria. Instead, they eat breakfast in the classroom. Cuttic said eating in the classroom helps to normalize eating school breakfast.

“Why wouldn’t anybody want to start the day having breakfast with friends? Laughing and joking? Does that not start the day off on the best foot?” Cuttic said.

Before introducing breakfast to the classrooms, Cuttic said she served around 200 students for the meal. Now, that number has grown dramatically.

“We’re now at 365, which is about 86% of the school community here,” said Cuttic.

Breakfast is important because in many school systems, it is often a child’s first meal since lunch the day before said Cuttic.

“Since COVID, there’s been so many families affected that things have become tight for a lot of people. I believe that there are more students than we could ever imagine that have food insecurity at home. It’s good to know that they’re starting the day right,” Cuttic said.

Cuttic added students who eat breakfast perform better in class. According to the School Nutrition Association, students who eat breakfast score 17.5% higher on math tests.

“The kids get better grades, they test better, they can focus better, their behavior in the classroom is far better when they have a good breakfast inside them,” Cuttic said.