There’s a new state mandate that will require all schools that qualify to participate in Breakfast After the Bell. 

The Bowe School in Chicopee has found success by implementing this Breakfast After the Bell food program. 

The program started three years ago, involves every child eating breakfast in the classroom with their classmates after the school day begins. This replaced the former breakfast program where students with free breakfast ate before school in the cafeteria. 

Principal David Drugan showed off the program’s success to local politicians today. 

“We’ve seen our breakfast attendance, as well as our breakfast participation, go from about 30-40 percent of students to over 95 percent of students eating,” said Principal Drugan. “That really sets them in a learning mood.”

“It reduces the stigma around eating breakfast at school because everyone eats together,” Melanie Wilk, Chicopee Public Schools food services director told 22News. “It’s not pinpointing who receives a free breakfast.”

West Springfield Mayor William Reichelt was in attendance. He told 22News he is considering implementing the breakfast before the bell program in West Springfield. 

The state has mandated that all qualifying schools must implement this program by May 31.