West Long Branch:With the guidance of Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher Ms. Dean Esposito and Art Teacher Grace-Anne Bertolami, three dozen students from freshmen to seniors had a sweet day at school making cupcakes.
There was a serious list of lessons to be learned and the bakers, students in creative cooking costumes, had fun while learning some basic life skills, math (as it pertains to recipes), team building, planning skills, and thinking creatively and out of the box. One sophomore participant said he also learned a lesson in time management as a means to success, at baking as well as managing relationships across teams.
Local bakers from Cake Bake and Roll and Red Mango shops in Long Branch, and Sugarush and The Cupcake Magician from Red Bank were asked to judge the confections along with a former school teacher.
The judges had a tough job choosing a winner from the five teams. All the samples were very good. Some even would sell out in a commercial bakery.
They weighed each team’s work, deciding on the winning combination of several cupcakes from each team submitted. The winner was the orange customer JAK team – James, Alex and Kurt. James in his chef hat, Alex in her bright orange bandana and Kurt in a cool baseball cap.
Second and third place went to the Kitchen Clowns and the Cupcake Girls respectively.
The program was new to the students and to the school curriculum, but chances are it will stick. "It has the makings of a fun and flavorful learning experience", one baker told Word on the Shore.