Before I was a school counselor, I taught second grade for thirteen years. One thing I found very successful for parent involvement was hosting a Reader’s Breakfast Club. These breakfasts were held once each grading period. Parents were invited to bring breakfast from home or their favorite take-out restaurant and come to my classroom. During their stay, they would eat breakfast with their children and read together. The students really enjoyed it, and we always had a great turn out.
As a school counselor, you can host a similar event called the Character Breakfast Club. This club offers another way to infuse character education into your school counseling program. How often you hold your breakfast club will depend on your individual school, but once per grading period is a great starting point. You can eventually hold it once per month if your schedule allows. Character Breakfast Club can be held before school and does not interfere with the school day.
Decide on the number of families you can accommodate, and make that number clear on your flyer. The number will be determined by your breakfast club location and supplies available. Once you receive the allotted number of R.S.V.P.’s, you can send the official invitation. You can make your Character Breakfast Club grade level specific, or you can supply a range of activities in order to leave it open to all. You can also group your clubs K-1, 2-3, and 4-5. The school where I work tends to have a higher parental involvement in the lower grades, so combining K-1 is difficult. Once you get a feel for the demand at your school, you can better assess how to schedule each breakfast.
Character Breakfast Club Activities
You will need to schedule 45-60 minutes for your Character Breakfast Club. This will allow time for families to eat their breakfast for the first 15-20 minutes and leave another 30-40 minutes for the character activities. These activities may include BINGO games, crafts, and small group activities centered around the topic. For example: One topic I will address is Bullying. I have the Bully-Buster Bingo game from Mar*co which shares several strategies children can use when dealing with a bully. I also have the activity guide for Bullies are a Pain in the Brain. This guide has a great true/false type activity about the characteristics of a bully that families can complete together. Students can also make special buttons pledging to take a stand against bullying. You can have crayons and stickers available for them to decorate their button inserts. This will give them something to take with them to remember all they did at the Character Breakfast Club.
Mar*co Products has a lot of to choose from including Character Education BINGO, Managing Anger BINGO, and Manners BINGO just to name a few. They also sell Responsibility and Respect Bingo which I have and love to use. These are additional topics you can use for your breakfast clubs. It’s not difficult to find a couple of fun character education activities to keep your participants busy and enjoying some great family time. Additionally, you’ll have excited kids ready to start their school day on a positive note!