Story and photos by James Preminger, CCSD Public Relations
Jeremiah Powless watched his 5-year-old son cover a gingerbread house with icing and then with candy. The gingerbread house was actually graham crackers stuck to a tiny milk carton with marshmallow cream.
It turns out that education can be good for the stomach—as well for the intellect and parent-child bonding.
The Kirtland Early Childhood Center father took time off of work December 13, 2016 to be with his son. Parents, guardians, and children filled the KECC cafeteria working on their Christmas projects.
“I’m a working professional. But I think it’s very important to make time for your children,” Powless said. “These are the type of activities they’re going to remember. So it’s really important to my wife and I—we both work—that one of us always show up.”
The center, which now offers full-day classes in addition to its morning and afternoon classes, held gingerbread sessions for children and parents throughout the day.
The annual gingerbread house event has an educational component.
“Before we hold this event the teachers read several different versions of the gingerbread boy, or the gingerbread man, or the gingerbread girl—and gingerbread cowboy,” said Cathy Martinez, the early childhood coordinator for the Central Consolidated School District in New Mexico.
“They do some compare-and-contrast work on the different styles (of the gingerbread story), she said, adding, “The gingerbread boy is the traditional version. But there are versions available (from various authors) with the same theme but different characters.
“We get a lot of academic support with this activity with the read alouds of the book and analyzing the various characters and various books on the same theme and settings. We do tie it into literature.”
Plus the assignment makes a good snack.
There are preschool programs across the District at Naschitti Elementary, Newcomb Elementary, Nizhoni Elementary, Mesa Elementary, Ojo Amarillo Elementary, and the Kirtland Early Childhood Center.