Every school year King Arthur Flour goes out into the community teaching and inspiring children to bake. Our Life Skills Bread Baking program, aimed at middle-school aged children, provides the tools, tips and techniques needed for successful scratch bread-baking. And we even throw in the flour and yeast! This school year we've visited 45 schools, mostly in the Northeast. We're now expanding the program into the Midwest, having recently added three Chicagoland schools to the schedule. We're looking to add more schools in the Midwest next school year.

In order to promote the program we are creating a DVD that teachers and parents can use as a tool for getting their administrations to approve the program. The DVD will also work well as a surrogate for our instructor in the classroom if we are not able to send a live person to the school.

To produce the video we assembled a 3-person camera crew, professional lighting and sound equipment, our instructor and an auditorium full of eager 5th, 6th and 7th graders on a recent Wednesday morning in Lakeville, MA. We had three chances to get the footage we needed, filming each of three separate assemblies. Each one went off without a hitch and we're sure the video is going to be great. We'll post a clip on our website as soon as it's ready, so stay tuned.

The best part about the program is the children get so excited to take home a new skill that they can share with their families. They go home with recipe books, flour, yeast, dough scrapers and the knowledge of how to make great bread. The recipe we provide yields two loaves; we ask them to keep one loaf and share the second with someone else. Usually the school makes arrangements to aid local food banks and organizations in need. At Lakeville last week the pupils brought in over 500 loaves of bread the next day. That is a fantastic turnout for baking on a weeknight! And it was a great help to the community.

For more information on the program and to inquire about bringing it to your school or your child's school, visit our webpage http://www.kingarthurflour.com/baking/life.html. We will begin planning for the next school year this summer. And we'll post the video clips as soon as the production team is finished with them.

The Author

About Tom Payne

Tom Payne is the Director of Marketing for the King Arthur Flour Company, Norwich, VT. Tom has nearly 10 years experience marketing in the baking industry and several years working as a baker himself.

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