“This is heaven,” one Grade 5 boy exclaimed as he cut into the freshly baked loaf of bread that he had made with his own hands. Through such parent reports, along with the palpable excitement of the Grade 5 students when they gather in her classroom to mix, knead, and shape their loaves, Grade 5 learning specialist Jenny Nachbar can see that the “KindBread” initiative is living up to its name.
While the coronavirus pandemic has challenged all of us and made it a struggle at times to connect with the wider community, the KindBread project renews students’ sense of purpose and agency by literally putting it into their hands as they gather in community to create something beautiful. Students engage in a kind of “bread therapy,” a meditative and creative practice paired with a concrete result, all the while learning the life-long skill of bread-making.
The ultimate goal of this initiative is to provide loaves of bread for people in need by partnering with the local organization KindWorks. Students mix, knead, shape, and bake two loaves of bread each on the Friday of their assigned week. They keep one loaf for their family and freeze a second loaf to donate for distribution to refugee families or other families in need. Donating these loaves of bread has been “kind” not just for the families receiving the loaves, but also for the students themselves as they experience the healing power of their own generosity.
Ms. Nachbar and the Grade 5 students would like to thank Alan Hakimi, who has been instrumental in shaping the KindBread initiative. A former St. Patrick’s family (Pasha ‘19) and co-owners of Lyon Bakery, the Hakimis have generously supported our efforts by donating all of the ingredients each week for the making of KindBread.