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Take Your Order, Sir? Sure. Tie Your Shoes, Son?

Students Become Restaurateurs for a Day


No matter what your job title, restaurant work can be fast-paced, noisy, hectic and messy. But for those who work the lunch shift at the Breton Downs Bakery, it helps if your customers leave you with good tips, hugs and smooches and even tie your shoes when they need it.

For more than a decade, second-graders at Breton Downs Elementary have traded their backpacks and books for aprons and order pads. This year, nearly 70 worked three shifts of the lunch rush, serving up to 150 moms, dads, grandparents and other family members.

Pastry chefs Coco Bossardet, left, and Kaylee Stover

On the menu: homemade chicken noodle soup, muffins, cookies and lemonade.

Teacher Lori Dood said the event fits nicely with second-graders’ math curriculum when it comes to measuring ingredients and counting money, for example, as well as the social studies curriculum (goods and services, wants, and needs), and literacy (reading recipes, communicating with one another and with customers).

“It’s really a fun learning experience, and the kids really take their jobs very seriously,” Dood said.

Before embarking on their culinary journey, students toured Rose’s restaurant on Reeds Lake , where they learned about what workers do and what’s involved in day-to-day operations. They also practiced cooking in the instructional kitchen at school, and one student from each of the three second grades went along with Dood to go shopping for the ingredients.

All earnings go to fund the next year’s supplies, and tips go to the school’s partnership with a school in Haiti. Last year more than $150 was raised.

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Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a reporter and copy editor, covering East Grand Rapids, Forest Hills and Northview. She is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio

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