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Chips off the ol’ block

With the crack of an egg and a mix of baking soda and sugar, R.D. White Elementary School students whipped up a lesson last week.

It was a cooperative scene as sixth-graders teamed up with kindergartners to mentor them during a chocolate-chip-cookie-baking project at the year-round school.

Kindergarten student Lusineh Hovakimian used a wooden spoon to mix flour, sugar and baking soda together as her partner, Ida Amadian, a sixth-grader, cracked an egg in the bowl.

“It’s kind of hard, but it’s going to be good at the end,” Ida said.

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The purpose of the project is to help teach the older students about responsibility and the younger students about sequencing and following directions, sixth-grade teacher Debra Boeve said.

“The sixth-graders like being looked up to,” Boeve said. “I can just see they feel good about it.”

As Lusineh and Ida prepared the cookie dough, their peers followed the same steps to make their own batch of cookies.

Elian Grigorian, 10, opened a pack of butter and dumped it in a mixing bowl. She handed 5-year-old Lili Down a plastic knife and helped her cut a stick of butter in half.

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“I think they should learn that they shouldn’t be messy with what they do,” Elian said.

At another table in the cafeteria, 10-year-old Alex Sharda helped his partner, Eric Yerissian, 5, mix the dry ingredients.

“You have to put all the dry ones in a small bowl and the wet in a large bowl,” Eric said.

Students also put their math skills to use to measure how much they needed for each ingredient.

The measuring spoons came in handy for Pamela Kachian, 11, who needed a certain amount of sugar for her dough.

“I bake cookies at home,” she said. “They turn out moist if you want them, and if you want them dry, you can make them dry.”

After they finished mixing the ingredients, students scooped up the dough in small plastic bags. Each student got a bag to take home and bake.

Then came time to clean up the mess.

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Justin Llamas carried a bowl with mixing spoons and measuring cups. He headed toward the kitchen and waited his turn to wash the items.

“It’s the first time I’m baking without my mom’s help,” the 11-year-old said, as his kindergarten partner stood next to him.


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