The sweet smell of muffins mingled with the murmur of cheerful conversation the morning of April 26 in the packed Chance Elementary gymnatorium.
An estimated 500 people attended the event, eat blueberry and chocolate chip muffins supplied by Prenger Foods and washing them down with milk purchased through the school.
The muffins were a hit.
The event, sponsored by the Chance Elementary Parent Teachers Organization, served an estimated 600 muffins and 125 half-pint containers of milk with the line stretching around the gymnatorium and out the door at one point.
One of the PTO’s organizers, Kristen Deckerd said the vision of the decades-old Chance Elementary School tradition was to give mothers and their children a little stress free-time away from the demands of home and work.
“It is a chance for moms to have breakfast with their kids,” Decker said. “It is a little time for them to be able to step back, not have to do anything but have a few nice minutes with their kids.”
The moms and grandmothers there agreed with Deckerd.
“The muffins were wonderful, we loved them,” said Mary Wren, there with her grandson Toalson Coil, “though the parking was challenging.”
There with her daughter Taylor, a second-grade student in Cindy Kempker’s class, Kelly Offineer said she and Taylor had never missed a Muffins with Mom since Taylor’s first on in kindergarten. “They are wonderful, it makes a difference in our day and gives us something else to do together.”
Christen Vierck, there with her daughter Trinity a student in Christie Branson’s first-grade class said she appreciated the PTO thinking about moms. Freshly relocated to Centralia from St. Charles, she said, “I think this is wonderful. Trinity’s old school did not have anything like this. We moved out here over Christmas. I just love this town.”
She said events such as Muffins with Mom have definite benefits.
“I think this helps us get a better feel for the school and community, it brings all the moms and grandmothers together, it brings us all together.”
Speaking from an educator’s perspective, CES Principal Tiffani Shuman said: “It’s a chance to connect home and school and to have a moment to strengthen that relationship face to face. Kids love inviting their family in to school where they spend a good chunk of their day. At this age, ‘show and tell’ is something kiddos love so this a chance for them to show the school to their family and tell them all they’ve been doing and learning.”