A GENERATIONAL BRIDGE

Bonduel public schools bring in senior citizens for breakfast
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Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Bill Thiede, of Bonduel, gets a pancake from Bonduel High School senior Emma Toellner on Wednesday during the school’s monthly senior breakfast. Following the meal, visitors got to tour the high school’s technology education labs.

The Bonduel School District is reaching out to older members of the community in the hopes of showing them what is happening in the public schools.

On Wednesday, the district held its third monthly senior breakfast at Bonduel High School. Almost 40 residents attended and got to enjoy a breakfast served by high school students, along with a reader’s theater performance by third-grade students and a tour of the high school’s technology education facilities. Students worked with seniors on creating birdhouses, and the visitors got to take them home afterward.

The breakfasts also include a question-and-answer session with Joe Dawidziak, the district’s superintendent. Although other sessions have been informal with discussion on school issues in general, Dawidziak spoke to Wednesday’s guests about school vouchers in response to requests from seniors that had attended previous breakfasts for more information.

Dawidziak noted that he could explain the issue from the public schools’ perspective, but suggested residents contact St. Paul Lutheran School staff if they had questions about how the parochial school benefits.

The main motivation for the monthly breakfasts is to bring the people who live within the district into the schools to see what students are doing via the property taxes landowners pay, according to Dawidziak. He noted that most parents already interact with the schools because of sporting events and other activities their children are involved in, but there is not as much interaction with older residents.

“We were looking for a fun and interesting way to get citizens inside the building and see what we were doing, people who wouldn’t ordinarily come into the building otherwise,” Dawidziak said.

Previous breakfasts have showcased first-grade students’ reading skills, high school students talking about math, elementary school cheerleaders and one high school student presenting on his youth apprenticeship program. Dawidziak said it was important to showcase both schools equally, as there are a lot of activities happening in both.

“The first one we had, we hoped to get a few people, and we ended up counting 40,” Dawidziak said. “I thought that was really good and positive.”

The breakfasts will be held on the second Wednesday of each month during the school year. For information, contact Amber Laude at 715-758-4850, ext. 820.