In an effort to gain more breakfast attendance at Elkin Elementary School, Debbie McCoin, cafeteria manager and Child Nutrition director for Elkin City Schools, used the idea of co-worker Connie Snider to boost morning sales.
“Elkie the Elf” is the lunchroom “Elf on the Shelf” who seems to be a little more mischievous than most North Pole elves. She has moved all the tables around to form her own playground, she has been found in Santa’s sleigh atop the lunch bar sneeze guard and even way up under the birthday banner sign, leaving only her feet hanging out to be found.
The plan is a contest made so whoever finds Elkie the most number of mornings between Dec. 1 and Dec. 18 wins a prize. To do so students must make a purchase, either breakfast or a snack for later, and find where Elkie has hidden herself each morning. When a student finds her, they whisper to one of the lunch staff and receive a sticker. At the end of the contest, on Dec. 18, whoever has the most stickers will win.
Since the school cafeteria is federally, not state, funded, the staff is responsible for trying to make the budget come out in the black, not the red each year. Boosting breakfast sales is one way to reach that goal, said McCoin.
“The challenging part to boosting sales is that most children want to buy unhealthy foods that our guidelines don’t allow us to sell anymore,” said McCoin, “but we have had 20 to 25 percent higher breakfast participation since the contest began.
“The kids really love it, you can see as they walk in the doors their little eyes are searching quickly all over the cafeteria to find Elkie first. It’s such fun to watch,” McCoin added.
Parents can drop the kids off 10 or 15 minutes early to school so they can come to the cafeteria and join their friends in the fun.
For more information, contact McCoin at the Elementary School at 336- 835-2756 or email [email protected]