When I first heard about this project, I was interested, but not overly enthusiastic. I’m not much of a bread baker, so I wasn’t exactly rushing to sign up. Then things changed. Then Nate the Baker showed up.
A little back story: King Arthur Flour company (which is owned by its employees, by the way) does this incredible service learning project with schools across the country. They provide not only flour, but bread baking kits, for kids to make bread. There is enough to make two loaves, one to keep and one to share. The second loaf is brought back to school and donated to feed the hungry.
Neat project, right? But there’s more. In order to get the kids enthusiastic about participating, and to teach them about bread baking, King Arthur sends a baker to school for an assembly. I know what you’re thinking, “Gee, how exciting, watching someone bake bread.” I was slightly skeptical myself, but I’m here to eat my words. It was probably one of the best school assemblies I’ve ever been to, and as a long time teacher, that’s saying something!
Not only did Nate the baker demonstrate the technique for making the bread (with his two student assistants, the Diva of Dry Ingredients and the Lord of Liquid Ingredients), but he engaged the entire audience and brought in lots of science content, as well as developing vocabulary. There was pizza dough twirling (and drops on the floor… oops!), cinnamon roll cutting (with dental floss!), and bread braiding (it’s NOT like your hair). This man was not only a born showman, but a top notch educator. I imagine he’s a pretty good baker, too.
We all left enthusiastic about our gifts of flour and other baking supplies, and dreaming about the fresh, delicious bread we would bake. I’m excited to make mine this afternoon, and I’m really looking forward to being part of that long line of bread donors tomorrow. What a wonderful experience for our students, thanks to this generous company.
I will be a King Arthur Flour customer from now on.