Elkin City Schools celebrating National School Breakfast Week by having its mascot visit students to boost breakfast attendance.
Mascot Bucky was in Elkin Elementary Wednesday morning to help get the students excited about healthy and energizing meals to start the day.
The number of students eating breakfast is low nationally, with fewer than half the students who receive school lunches eating breakfast on campus too, according to ECS Child Nutrition Director Debbie McCoin.
Bucky started the morning by visiting students while they ate breakfast in the lunchroom prior to the start of school. Students were able to interact with Bucky while cafeteria workers smiled and photographed the scene. As 8 a.m. rolled around and the students went off to their respective classrooms, Bucky moved into the library with Principal Tom Caton for the morning announcements.
Every morning the elementary students do a live broadcast on the school’s television network. Student news anchors read local and school news, the weather is forecast, and Caton makes special announcements. Wednesday’s program had Bucky as a special guest to further promote breakfast attendance.
“It’s nice to have Bucky come over here from the high school to help us celebrate School Breakfast Week,” said Caton.
After appearing on camera, Bucky went back to the cafeteria to meet and greet pre-K special education students whose classes come to breakfast after the bell rings. Bucky let the kids hug and high-five him while teachers took pictures. He passed out bookmarks to the children in between group photos amid some odd looks by a few unsure boys and girls.
The week has a theme attached each year to tie the breakfast message together. In 2013, the slogan “Be a Star” reinforced the idea that a child can be successful and productive if they start their day with a healthy meal. Past years’ themes have included “School Breakfast Detectives,” “What’s Cooking?” and “Power Up with School Breakfast.”
ECS went a step beyond the national theme and used “Eat Breakfast! Be Strong Like Bucky!” The cafeteria will be featuring special menus and decorations this week, including a banner with the theme across one wall.
In an interview, “Bucky” said this was his third year as the mascot. It will also probably be his last, pending his graduation from high school in the spring. He has been the mascot since his sophomore year. When asked if he visited Elkin High or Middle Schools too, he joked that the older kids “just don’t believe” in Bucky like the youngsters do.
Interest in the mascot was very evident around the elementary school as children darted around corners and stood staring wide-eyed as the Elk mascot walked by. Students screamed across rooms: “I love you Bucky!” as he passed through the library and lunchroom.
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