Teachers flip burgers to help raise money Restaurant work benefits school WEST COUNTY -- Crofton * Odenton * Fort Meade * Gambrills

April 27, 1993|By Angela Winter Ney and Monica Norton | Angela Winter Ney and Monica Norton,Staff Writers

A job flipping burgers at McDonald's is a rite of passage for many American kids. Now, their teachers are getting into the act.

For the second week, Jessup Elementary School staff members spent three hours behind the counter at the McDonald's Restaurant on Route 175 and Pocomoke Road yesterday to raise funds for their school and foster school-business partnerships.

The school's fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade teachers, along with the speech therapist, media specialist and the principal, worked from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., serving burgers and fries and shakes. The kindergarten through third-grade teachers put in their hours at the restaurant last week.

It's part of the school's community partnership program with area local businesses. Twenty percent of the money school personnel earn while working at the restaurant will go to buy chalkboards, bulletin boards, maps and other items.

The money also may go into a school fund to install walls in what has been an "open school." The $350,000 building project is being done this summer by the parents of Jessup students, with community support and donations.

School Principal Preston Hebron, dressed up in his own striped McDonald's shirt, black trousers and maroon hat, made sundaes. Art teacher Carole Pressnall delivered fries.

"Does it bring back your high school again?" asked one parent, who added, "It's going to be fun!"

The students thought so.

They lined up at the counter, gleeful at the prospect of being waited on by their principal and other teachers.

"We work hard for them, so let them work for us!" said Melody Blades, a sixth-grader, delightedly.

"I can't believe they're doing it," added Emily Thomas, another sixth-grader. "I want them to work as hard as they can." But she added she thought their donation of time and energy was "very generous."

Jessup Elementary, which counts 504 PTA members to its 640 students, benefits from such business partnerships, Dr. Hebron said.

"This McDonald's has adopted us as a school," he said, pointing to the drawings by school children lining the restaurant walls. Once a week, a faculty member reads for an hour at the fast-food restaurant, with kids' meals sold at discount. Last week, the faculty burger-flippers made $280 for the school.

The McDonald's owners, Jeff and Becky Taylor, attend school PTA meetings and are donating furniture for the school's new computer lab. Next month, the restaurant plans to hold another Jessup Elementary School night, with 20 percent of the evening's proceeds again going to the school. The restaurant has planned similar nights for a Christian school and a high school.

Said Mr. Taylor: "I win because sales double these nights, and it lets people know we're here. The school wins because they make extra money. It just seems the way it should be. We want to be a real community restaurant.

"And some day, these elementary children will be working here, because they'll have good memories of us," he added.

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