Volunteers, community make things happen

Two weeks ago, for three intensely busy and fun days, my twenty-four hard-working, cooperative, creative fifth graders mixed, baked, packaged, labeled, sold and delivered 960 cinnamon rolls to the community as part of a World of Work/Fractions unit that also served as a fundraiser for our upcoming Kenai Fjords marine biology floating lab field trip. Because this cinnamon roll project teaches the children so much about themselves; about working hard together; about the expectations of employers; about health, nutrition and safety; about fractions – and because I’ve had phenomenally willing and loyal volunteers and wonderful community support – I’ve continued to do this project each year for at least fifteen years with my fifth and sixth grade classes. Robin Bennett has been my exquisitely capable behind-the-scenes organizer and on-site supervisor every year for the past fourteen years, and Wayne and Maxine Carroll have been the chief expediters and bakers for the last ten. Amazing! The community and I am so grateful for their support, their expertise and their volunteer hearts, for they made things happen! In addition, this year’s super-organized powerhouses who ran the practical side of things in the Matson Cinnamon Roll Factory (and made the process look effortless) were Ramona Malston and Amy Stock. I’d also like to thank Felix Martinez at M&M Supermarket in Nikiski, who has been so cooperative and generous in his donations and support for many years, Scott Griffith with XTO Energy, for his gracious and generous donations, and the hundreds of faithful Nikiski businesses, parents and community members who have been supportive in so many ways over the years. The children and I warmly thank you.