|Brad Newman, left, and Christine Lee prepare food at the Bennett Day School on West Grand Avenue in Chicago.|
Food is a lesson that lingers.
I can't recall much about the learning being doled out at Fairwood School in 1966. Something about Henry Hudson, something about pilgrims.
But lunch is still very clear. I can see those metal pans of boiled hot dogs, the Borden ice cream sandwiches, frozen hard in industrial deep freezers. A dime apiece; a nickel for half a sandwich.
Lunch is still important, judging from the Bennett Day School, a new private elementary on West Grand Avenue.
"It's part of a dialogue between the students and teachers," said director of admissions Amanda McQuade, noting teachers eat with their students, teaching them how to converse and conduct themselves. Eating is carefully integrated into the curriculum; for instance, kindergartners eat in their room.
"At this age, going into the cafeteria was way too over-stimulating for them," said Sara Violante, a senior kindergarten teacher. "We eat five to six kids at a table, one teacher at each table modeling how to interact with each other, engaging in conversations. It's definitely worked very well, especially having three teachers in the classroom."
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