GUERNSEY--Students in the fourth, fifth and sixth grades at Guernsey-Sunrise spent Monday afternoon learning about something just a bit different than the usual fare of reading, social studies and math. Courtesy of the King Arthur Flour Company, these upper elementary students learned first-hand the basics of making bread through the company’s Baking for Good. With classmates Marcus Romero and Brooke Sterner serving as helpers, Pam Jensen, put on a program that rivaled any television cooking show, complete with the camera and big screen so all of the students who attended could see exactly what was going on up close.
Jensen walked the students through every step of the process, taking the time to explain the details you rarely find in recipe books. Things like why you need yeast, what it does and how it works, what makes dough stick and stretch, and in the process, it became part culinary and part science class.
By the end of the presentation, Marcus and Brooke were spinning dough in the air, just as you might find in a pizzaria in downtown Chicago.
But perhaps the best part of the project was the fact that each student who attended Monday’s program took home an entire kit that provides the ingredients and instructions to make two loaves of bread. Students have been asked to bake their bread and bring one loaf back to school that will be donated to feed local residents in our community.
The King Arthur program is a nationwide effort to get kids interested in not only using math, science, reading and baking skills to make something that tastes great but a chance to share what they’ve made with someone who may be in need.
Guernsey-Sunrise Food Program Coordinator Dawndrea Daly heard about the King Arthur program last year and began working to arrange for a presentation date at Guernsey. But the program is generally scheduled so as to reach five or six schools in the same area to minimize the costs for travel and expenses of its administration. Daly worked with the company for nearly a year and finally was able to get it on the calendar.
“I really love the idea of this program,” said Daly. “It’s something that the kids can all participate in and spend some time with a parent doing something that really gives them a sense of accomplishment. We waited a long time for this and I’m so glad today is finally here!”
When Daly explained to the students that the homework for this class would be baking with someone in their family, she suggested that no matter who the students worked with, they put their cell phones away and spend the time in some real and meaningful conversation with their baking partners.
The program took about an hour but by the time it was over, the idea of fresh bread, cinnamon rolls, braided breads and pizza was on just about everybody’s mind.
Getting kids to put cell phones down these days is no easy task...but it’s quite possible King Arthur Flour Company has provided just the incentive to make that happen.