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Baking for a Good Cause

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Hundreds of local elementary school students ate their homework -- and helped the community at the same time.

Fourth- and fifth-graders from four elementary schools baked bread at home, putting to use the techniques they learned during a recent visit to the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus. Students were from Stedwick, Georgian Forest and Whetstone elementary schools, as well as the German International School.

The students visited the JHU campus in April to participate in the King Arthur Flour Bake for Good Kids: Learn Bake Share program. An instructor from King Arthur Flour taught the students how to bake bread while exploring math and science concepts involved in the process. The lessons aligned with the fourth-grade science curriculum on the changing states of matter, properties of matter and the differences between mixtures and new substances.

King Arthur Flour donated enough ingredients and supplies -- flour, yeast, dough scrapers, bread bags and twist ties -- for each student to bake two loaves of bread at home. The homework assignment: Enjoy one loaf with your family. Bring back to school the second loaf for donation to Interfaith Works.

Approximately one week later, staff members from JHU and Interfaith Works visited the students to collect the bread and discuss the importance of giving back to the community.

Bread is meant to be shared, said Charlotte Garvey, communications manager at Interfaith Works

“It’s going to be an amazing night tonight for the people you helped,” Garvey told the students. “This is an amazing gift you’re giving to somebody else.

“It’s not just about bread,” Garvey continued. “It’s something you made, for them. It’s going to taste even better.”

Garvey discussed the issue of homelessness with the students, talking to them about the reasons people might face homelessness during their lives. She told them Interfaith Works serves approximately 16,000 people annually, helping supply backpacks, winter coats, shelter and food to those in need.

The bread the students baked will go to those living in Interfaith Works homeless shelters, and to families who are struggling economically and shop for free clothing at the Interfaith Works Clothing Center. In the past, Interfaith Works has used the bread to make croutons, French toast and grilled cheese.

“We do really super-important work,” Garvey told the students. “But we can’t do it without you.”‚Äč

CATEGORY: K-12 Outreach, In The Community