RANDOLPH, NJ- As part of a community service project, Ironia Elementary School fourth graders wanted to bake blue sprinkled star cookies to benefit the Make a Wish Foundation.

The students learned about the recently renovated culinary arts kitchen at Randolph High School and sent a letter to RHS Principal Debbie Iosso with a fun idea. "We heard that you have a new kitchen that has all the necessary baking tools," the students wrote to Principal Iosso in a letter. "We were hoping that we could come and do our baking in your new kitchen. We know that you might be thinking that this is unnecessary because we could just bake at our houses but this would be a beneficial opportunity because we could use our collaborating skills and work as a team. We would take it more seriously and focus on the task because we would respect your new work space and we would not fall into procrastinating, like we often do at home. We are trying to take ownership of our learning."

Principal Iosso embraced the idea and invited the students, teacher, some parents and Ironia Principal David Kricheff to bake at the high school during a culinary class. The fourth graders supplied the baking ingredients and took school buses one day last month to bake the about 2,000 cookies with high school culinary students. The fourth graders helped roll the dough and use cookie cutters, but let the high school students use the ovens and bake the cookies. The beautiful blue sprinkled cookies were a hit and the fourth graders raised $1,700 to benefit the Make a Wish Foundation, Principal Kricheff said.

Sign Up for E-News

During the baking session at the high school, Ironia fourth grader Kayla Pentz smiled as she used a spatula to transfer the cooled cookies to a plate. " "I feel happy because these cookies are fun to make and we are going to sell them to help the Make a Wish Foundation," she said.

"They are having a blast!" said Ironia fourth grade teacher Tricia Bourke, who helped organize the collaborative event, as she walked around overseeing the baking with high school culinary arts teacher Karen GaNung. Many parents and friends pre-ordered the cookies and the students were working hard to fill all of the many orders.

Principal Kircheff noted that the fourth graders designed and created packaging in Makerspace, worked with a spreadsheet in taking orders and made an inventory of needed ingredients, The students also learned about fractions and applied that knowledge when making the cookies. He attended the March 7 Randolph Board of Education to thank the board for its support and share some cookie samples with board members.