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South Hills

Pleasant Hills students bake cookies for LifeSpan

| Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, 4:03 p.m.

A Pleasant Hills Middle School parent suggested it to Melissa McCauley, a family consumer science teacher at the school.

Why not have your students bake cookies for LifeSpan Senior Community Center in Homestead, the agency that provides Meals on Wheels services to senior citizen? the parent said.

McCauley liked the idea, especially since it went well with the school's mission of teaching empathy. Plus, her students liked the idea of baking to help others.

“We do focus on empathy and having our students understand there are people in need,” said Daniel Como, the school principal.

With materials donated by the school, a handful of student volunteers from her family consumer science baked 10 dozen chocolate chip cookies for LifeSpan to distribute to area seniors. McCauley said her students came in during their study period to bake. No extra credit was given.

“We made chocolate chip cookies, a fan favorite,” said McCauley, adding that the cookie was what the students voted to bake.

The cookies were baked Dec. 12 and Dec. 13, McCauley said. During the baking, not one cookie was eaten, she added.

“No one fought me on that,” she laughed.

Rachael Parsons, a seventh-grader, admitted it was hard not to eat a cookie. But, she said, it was more important to her to help out and give someone an energy boost.

“I thought it was a nice thing to do, but I like sugar cookies more,” said Shanice McNeil, a seventh-grader who helped bake.

Christine Rossi, an eighth-grader who also baked, said she liked the idea of giving back to her community.

“I love helping and baking,” she said.

“I asked if they needed help and was told yes,” said Delaney Beasock, who is an eighth-grader. “It is for a good cause and it's good to give back.”

Diane Pawlowski, agency support manager for LifeSpan, said her organization is planning on giving a dozen Christmas cookies to each Meals on Wheels recipient this holiday season.

“This has been a fantastic partnership for us,” said Pawlowski, who picked the cookies up at the school on Dec. 14. “This is great.”

McCauley agreed.

“We'll definitely do this again,” she said.

Suzanne Elliott is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at selliott@tribweb.com or 412-871-2346.

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