What People are Reading
- What a very sad and shocking
2 years 29 weeks ago
- Smart Meters
2 years 32 weeks ago
- 100 year old house burns
2 years 32 weeks ago
- Column 2-10 re Treason
2 years 42 weeks ago
- Radical Difference
2 years 42 weeks ago
- This activity is such a
2 years 50 weeks ago
- Okay Great we got a sign!
2 years 51 weeks ago
- Hate Crime a Sad Moment Indeed
3 years 3 days ago
More in Featured
Students sharpen skills making, serving breakfast
GOOD SERVICE — Paris Elementary second-grader Zachary May is handed money from sixth grade teacher Teresa Copp at the school last week in exchange for an English muffin she ordered, as part of a breakfast program to teach students with special needs how to cook, handle money and communicate effectively.
COOKIN' — Evzen Buehl, a third-grader at Paris Elementary, flips an egg on the griddle last week, during the school's "Breakfast Café" program. According to special education teacher Rebecca Hood, the goal of the program is to give students the opportunity to hone their math, cooking and social skills while preparing and serving breakfast to their teachers every Tuesday.
PARIS — Every Tuesday, before classes begin, students with special needs at Paris Elementary School roll up their sleeves to prepare and serve breakfast for teachers, all from scratch.
"They love to bake and cook," said Special Ed. Teacher Rebecca Hood.
The program is called "Breakfast Café." According to Hood, it's modeled after a similar program that takes place at Oxford Hills Middle School every week.
Pam Farnum, another special education teacher at PES, explained that she and Hood spent a couple hours at OHMS observing the students and brainstorming how to apply the program at PES.
"We got to see the kids go through the process of cooking and serving, delivering and exchanging money and so forth," Farnum said.
Hood said the special needs students at PES participate in "Fun Friday," where the students have the opportunity to cook and really seem to enjoy it.
Farnum said activities during Fun Friday vary; however, "the population [of students] this year does really enjoy cooking, so we have incorporated it quite a bit."
The Breakfast Café, said Hood, will give her first through sixth-grade students more opportunities to hone their cooking and communication skills.
"We're hoping to help them practice use their manners and make eye contact," explained Farnum.
"It's something we've been working on. With my particular population, they have difficulty making eye contact and even just initiating a conversation," she said.
She said the Breakfast Café will help her students engage in conversation with others at the school. "Something as simple as 'Here's your order,'" she said.
Hood said the first breakfast a couple of weeks ago, which recruited around 10 students, went "fairly well." She suspects the breakfasts will only get better as the students' skills improve.
"The kids were so excited and really, really loved it," Hood said. She said after preparing the breakfast, students will personally deliver it to their customers.
Last week, second-grader Zachary May said the program has taught him "to help each other, be nice and have good sportsmanship."
"I am the best at making tea," said Xavier Cooper, third grade, proudly.
"I am learning how to make tea, too," added Evzen Buehl, also in third grade. "I make my mom's coffee. Sometimes she subs here!" he said, with enthusiasm.
According to Hood, the menu will change slightly every week to give teachers more options to choose from. The idea, she said, is to keep the options "somewhat healthy."
Menu items usually include breakfast sandwiches (sausage or Canadian bacon) with wheat English muffins, chocolate chip muffins, yogurt, fruit, as well as a list of beverages like coffee, juice and tea – all for an affordable price.
Farnum said the program coincides with Michelle Obama's healthy food initiative and the push for a healthier school lunch menu.
"Our lunch menu in general has changed significantly this year, with much more healthy options," Farnum said.
"One of the big sellers, I was surprised, was green tea," she said.
"It's good," she said, "because we are also keeping the staff healthy."
Hood said the idea of the project is to teach students life skills, such as handling money and being part of a group. "It's learning social skills as well," she said.
According to Farnum, the Breakfast Café program at PES will give the sixth-graders a head start for the program at the middle school next year.
"It will help them have a nice, smooth transition," she said.
The profits from breakfast sales will cover the cost of food as well as some new equipment, including a griddle, a coffee pot and other kitchen-related items, said Hood, which the group is currently borrowing.
"We are hoping eventually to make enough money that ... we can return those [items] and have our own," Farnum said.
The plan is to be able to continue this kind of community service for years to come, Farnum said.
Money made will also go toward rewards for the students for their hard work, Hood said.
Another piece of the project, said Hood, is rewarding the students for good behavior.
"I have a whole reward system I use," she said. "Usually, to get 'Fun Friday' and to bake, they have to have three of five ... 'good' days."
"We are trying to get the children back in the classroom as much as possible," Farnum said, "and have their behavior be such that they can be successful."
SERVING B'FAST — Nate Dunn, a sixth-grader at Paris Elementary, serves a chocolate chip muffin and sliced bananas to his teacher, Alice Deegan, as part of the school's "Breakfast Café" program, aimed at teaching students better cooking and communication skills.