The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

May 22, 2013

Come to vote, leave hungry

By HOWARD BALABAN howard.balaban@journal-register.com
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — LYNDONVILLE - Thanks to the efforts of one group of students, voters in the Lyndonville Central School District had the opportunity to purchase a cookbook at the polls on Tuesday.

The students in April Buchner’s Readers and Writers Workshop wrote and bound the project themselves.

“In the past the kids have made a newspaper,” Buchner said. “They do a different project every year.”

Buchner explained the idea behind the final assignment is to allow the kids time to do something other than take a test.

“We do this after state exams, because they’re all exhausted after them,” she said. “This year, they decided to do a cookbook.”

The students also made the decision to see that the money raised by their collective effort would go toward the Roswell Park Cancer Institute for breast cancer research.

Buchner said the students in the group do not get a grade, yet put in significant time and effort. She mentioned how the group made the calendar to determine when they needed to complete certain portions of the project, and then met with various people to gather and write the recipes within the book.

“There are also articles on proper table manners and how to properly set a table,” Buchner said, noting how one student did not have a recipe to add. That student, after being inspired by the school nurse’s shocking story of having visited a restaurant with an improperly set table.

“The girl who wrote about that didn’t know how to properly set a full table, so she figured it was time to learn,” Buchner joked.

The cookbook is a culmination of a year’s worth of reading and writing enrichment, Buchner explained.

“This teaches expository writing and sequential writing,” she said, adding how grammar and mechanics are also essential elements. “These kids are learning how there’s more to reading and writing than answering multiple choice questions and writing an essay in 40 minutes,” she added. “It’s an art.”

While the project has featured ups and downs, Buchner sat with her students and beamed pride Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m ecstatic, I’m over the top for what they’ve done,” she said. “At first I thought, ‘What did I get into?’ but seeing them go above and beyond has been a wonderful experience.”