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Breaking bread at Millbrook Middle School

MILLBROOK — Home education isn’t completely lost thanks to businesses like the King Arthur Flour Co. Millbrook Middle School students learned the craft of baking bread on Wednesday, Nov. 9. At the high school auditorium 200 sixth- and seventh- graders gathered for a demonstration on how to bake bread from scratch as a part of King Arthur Flour Co.’s Life Skills Bread Baking Program. The Life Skills Bread Baking Program visits fourth- through seventh-graders across the country and teaches them how to make bread at home. Gina Ciancia gave the demonstration with two volunteer assistants, Aaron Greene of the sixth grade and Kiri Dicintio of the seventh grade. Each student was given a bread making kit, which included King Arthur All-Purpose Flour and King Arthur 100 percent Organic White Whole Wheat Flour to take home, providing them with enough supplies to make two loaves of bread. The presentation incorporated whole grains into the demonstration, teaching students what whole grains are, how to use them when baking and why they are important for a healthy diet. Students also learned how to use dough to make things such as pretzels, cinnamon buns and pizza crust. King Arthur Flour was founded in 1790 and is America’s oldest flour company, as well as the largest educator for home bakers in the world. Ryan Judge is a science teacher at Millbrook Middle School; he was responsible for bringing the program to the district.“It was through another employee in the district whose kids experienced this a couple of years ago and they shared it with me,” said Judge. “I had applied two years ago and we weren’t selected for that year. Then they contacted me about a month and a half or two months ago asking if we were still interested. And I said ‘of course’.”A significant part of the Life Skills Bread Baking Program is that students make two loaves of bread: one for their family and the other to donate. The second loaf of bread is then donated to Dutchess Outreach in Poughkeepsie for their soup kitchens and food pantries. Although baking bread may seem like a simple task, students were able to realize how much knowledge goes into baking.“I think the most important part is the transfer of knowledge. That they see how what they are learning in math class, English class and science class is applied in everyday situations,” said Judge. “So often students say, ‘Why do we have to learn this?’ Well, here is the real life application of why we have to learn this.”

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