Bread sales take off as school fund-raiser

Student bakers raise dough selling home-made loaves.
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Instead of just complaining about school lunches, these fifth-graders rolled up their sleeves and -- after one flour fight -- started baking their own bread.
In just three months, the students at Concordia Lutheran School have raised $960 for a new science lab by selling $2 loaves of whole-wheat bread. The school even skipped its annual candy sale.
"And the bread is much better for you than candy," 10-year-old Toria Raines said.
Parents operate the school's commercial mixer and the ovens for the project, which has incorporated as Heavenly Loaves Bread Co. The group bakes on Saturdays and Wednesdays, producing five to six dozen loaves. Each batch produces a 20-pound mound of dough, and the 10- and 11-year-old students tear off pieces to knead and form into loaves.
Wide-ranging lessons
The project started when the students were studying nutrition and asked if the school cafeteria could serve whole-wheat bread instead of spongy white bread. They were told it was too expensive, so a parent suggested baking their own.
Fifth-grade teacher Becky Lilley welcomed the idea.
"The easy thing to do is to assign workbook pages and have kids sit and read," Lilley said. "But it's a lot more challenging to do this kind of thing."
The baking has supplied lessons in such subjects as science, when students learned how yeast reacts in warm water; hygiene, since they must wash hands before touching the dough; math, as they balance the company's books; and social studies and charity, because they donate loaves to a homeless shelter.
Supply and demand
As customers eagerly ask when the next bread sale is, they've learned a fundamental rule of economics.
"Supply is low. But demand is high," said Danny Trauth, adding that no one ever asked when he was coming back with a box of candy bars.
Danny bought himself a loaf after a recent baking session.
"I have soccer tonight," he said. "The last time I ate some of our bread before the game, I scored five goals."
The classmates said their first flour fight was their only one.
"Flour was in the air, and all over us," Toria said. "That was when we first started doing this.
"Now, we're serious about baking."