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Pasta with a Purpose
East Ridge Community School Falcons and families participated in a “Pasta with a Purpose” literacy event on Thursday, May 9.  Collingwood author and workshop facilitator, Leah Dilley, paid the school a visit for a presentation of her book, “What’s Your Spaghetti?”, which acts as a guide for students to learn how to both recognize stress in their bodies, and how to manage it.  She associates different feelings and emotions to different types of spaghetti.  For example, an uncooked spaghetti character portrays frustration and anger, while an overcooked one portrays fatigue or boredom.

The event started the week prior with Leah doing age-specific presentations for all East Ridge students to introduce the topic of self-regulation.  A copy of her book was also left for each classroom library so that students could re-read the message and make use of the self-regulating tools daily.

To kick off the “Pasta with a Purpose” main event night, the East Ridge Literacy Team hosted a spaghetti dinner to a full house of almost 400 Falcons and family members!  The auditorium was transformed into an Italian restaurant setting, complete with red checkered décor, themed background music, and spaghetti centerpieces made by the students.  The principal and both vice-principals each donned a chef’s hat to help literacy team volunteers serve dinner, and the reading buddies even made their way down from the library to partake in the fun!

With help from the students, Leah presented to the audience her tips and tricks for managing stress.  The use of spaghetti characters made it easy for everyone to understand the association to different emotions, and ensured that an important and common topic was fun for all.  

The night ended with a chance for everyone to visit the East Ridge ‘Starbooks Café’ to find a new book to take home, and speak with one of the school's learning resource teachers.

Many thanks are extended to the school administration, volunteers, and sponsors who supported this excellent event!

Submitted by:  Rhonda Hambly

Group photo image of East Ridge principal and vice-principals in their chef hatsImage of staff and volunteers serving spaghetti
Image of staff and volunteers serving spaghettiImage of staff and volunteers serving spaghetti
Image of table with book, "What's Your Spaghetti?" and Lady and the Tramp stuffed animals over plate of spaghetti and meatballsImage of table with red and white checkered table cloth and stuffed animals seated with plates
Image of table centerpiece with flower in vase and student made spaghettiImage of Starbooks Café table full of books