Second-graders bake bread in hands-on project


January 26, 1998|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

LAST THURSDAY, long before most elementary school students were fully awake and through the morning announcements, 112 second-graders were making loaves of bread at Robert Moton Elementary School in Westminster.

They dumped in ingredients, stirred and kneaded dough under the direction of Rose Lang, an instructor for Breadmake, a company that provides everything to make bread except the water and parent volunteers.

Lang had mixing bowls, flour, yeast, stirrers, oil and other necessities on the long lunchroom tables by 8: 30 a.m. By 9: 30 a.m., groups of apron-clad, giddy children were mixing away.

"Blue Team, measure the oil in the cup until it is half full. Red Team, measure the honey," Lang instructed from a microphone. "Adults, put two cups of water in each bowl."

Lang moved quickly through the steps, demonstrating them from an elevated booth covered in red gingham. These demonstrations come easily for the former Carroll County resident: She performs about 10 a year, and this is her fourth year in business.

"I love to make bread. This is a busy world, so most children have no concept of the process," Lang said. "I bring the process to them. They take a loaf home and share the bread and what they learned with their families."

Students worked in teams around plastic bowls on tables. They listened to Lang's warnings that too much flour produced bricks.

"We don't want bricks, so don't just dump in the flour," she said.

"This is great -- it is teaching them to work cooperatively," said teacher Debbie Ebersole. "I have never seen something like this on this large scale, but she has it down to a science, and everything is so clean."

"They can enjoy learning about the process with this hands-on approach -- that is why I like it," said parent volunteer Karen Leppo, who helped her daughter Kelsea and Blue Team member Garrett Vogelberger stir in the flour.

"It looks like clay," Garrett said. "Or sticky soup," Kelsea added.

Garrett's brother, Chris, and his cousin, Stevi Fulton, were stirring in ingredients a few tables over. It was Stevi's second day at Robert Moton, and she was certain she would like her new school.

"We just moved in from Canada this weekend," said Stevi's father, Ed Fulton, another parent volunteer. "This is excellent -- the students are working together, and many of them are doing something they may never have had a chance to do."

Most of the time it was serious bread baking business that morning.

Of course, there was the token nibbling, flour blowing, and "I dare you to stick your fingers in early." But considering the task and the number of children, everything went well.

After sculpting animals for a few minutes, the students plopped their dough into miniloaf tins for baking. With rumpled aprons and flour-covered faces, they filed back to their classrooms.

"There is a real sense of accomplishment when they are through," said Amanda Dodrer, who helped daughter Fonda and other children through the workshop. "This is the second time I have seen this program, and the bread works."

When the second-graders left school that afternoon, they proudly carried their freshly baked bread home to share with their families.

Students of the month

The Kiwanis Club of Westminster Inc. recently honored these Students of the Month: Sean Javins, son of Scott and Toni Javins, because he "actively participates in a number of activities, he is eager to apply his lessons, and he will be a positive force in the community in the future."

Chris Sarengoulis, son of Bill and Barb Sarengoulis, was recognized because of his "passion and talent for music. A member of the wind ensemble, Chris has been in the All County Band and the All State Band."

Valentine workshop

Children ages 2 to 10 are invited to the Carroll County Arts Council from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 14 to make "masterpiece" valentines. There will be buttons, trim, lace, glitter and stickers to make something special for mom, dad, grandma and grandpa or that favorite teacher.

Workshops are free for arts council members and $1 for others.

Parents can enjoy the exhibition "A Medieval Tourist," which features ceramic and fiber creations by Suzanne Herbert-Forton, while their children are creating valentines.

Reservations or information: 410-848-7272.

Lisa Breslin's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 1/26/98

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