Paula Gray, King Arthur baking instructor, shows Tori Lobdell and Lindsay Jordon how to bake bread. Ticonderoga Elementary School, Putnam Central School and St. Mary’s School students learned how to bake bread during an assembly Nov. 18. Students were then given the necessary ingredients and asked to bake two loaves of bread at home — one for their family and another to be donated to residents of Lord Howe Estates and Montcalm Manor.
A group of Ticonderoga residents enjoyed fresh, home-made bread with their Thanksgiving dinner this year.
Ticonderoga Elementary School students, with help from the King Arthur Flour company, learned how to bake bread during an assembly Nov. 18. Students were then given the necessary ingredients and asked to bake two loaves of bread at home — one for their family and another to be donated to residents of Lord Howe Estates and Montcalm Manor.
St. Mary’s School and Putnam Central School students also took part in the program.
Shari O’Bryan, a Ticonderoga teacher and avid baker, arranged the program.
“There are several things I hope to gain from this assembly,” O’Bryan said. “First, is probably for students to experience the joy of baking their own bread and from having a project that they can do at home with a family member.
“Second, I love the idea that they bake one loaf for home, and then bring one back to donate to members of our community,” she said. “It really is never too early to get kids thinking about giving back, and how rewarding that is. It’s also nice that the assembly will address some math and science as well.”
The King Arthur Flour Life Skills Bread Baking Program visits schools across the country. In the past decade it has taught more than 155,000 children how to bake bread. Students bake the bread at home with their families, then bring a loaf back to school to be donated to a local food pantry or others.
King Arthur Flour also incorporates whole grains into the demonstration, teaching children what whole grains are, why they’re important in a healthy diet, and how to use them in everyday baking. Each student receives bags of both King Arthur All-Purpose Flour and King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour to help them bake healthy breads at home.
King Arthur Flour is based in Norwich, Vt.
Paula Gray, King Arthur baking instructor, said bread baking teaches many skills.
“It’s a hands-on way for kids to learn math, science and cultural traditions all while having fun,” Gray said. “The program helps involve children with community service, too. They’re learning the value and the joy of giving something back to the community. Food pantries are delighted to have loaves of freshly baked homemade bread to offer the people they serve.”
O’Bryan learned about the King Arthur program while taking a class last summer at the company’s Norwich facility.
“It was a two day wood-fired baking class, and I loved it,” she said. “During the course of that class, I struck up a conversation with the instructor's assistant. Her name was Gina, and she is an employee there at the baking center. When she learned that I was a teacher, she asked me if I knew about their free outreach program, which I didn’t.
“They travel around the country educating kids about baking, and healthy eating,” O’Bryan said. “I filled out an application, had many conversations with Paula Gray, the director of the program, and was approved for King Arthur to come here to our school.”
King Arthur Flour, founded in 1790, is America’s oldest flour company and the largest educator of home bakers in the world.