Primer Hosts 18th Annual Pie Contest

Allie Schnitzer

On Thursday, April 14, the Primer class will be hosting the 18th annual Primer Pie Contest. 

The Primer students have the opportunity to invite faculty members on campus to bake pies and enter them in a competition. People will vote on their favorite pies and winners will be chosen.

“It started a long time ago with Peggy Fredrickson and I, we studied the state of Texas,” said Primer teacher Janice LaMendola. “Part of it was that we talked about the crafts and the contests that they have at the state fair, so we decided to replicate that in the classroom.”

This tradition has been one that has been held in high regard by faculty and students alike for nearly two decades.

“It was going to be cookies, but then I love pie so much that we made it to the pie contest and the kiddos help build it from scratch,” said LaMendola.

The students will write invitations to faculty members on campus inviting them to participate in the contest.

“We give awards, we make placemats, we do fractions with it. We’re doing [an] apple taste test to try different types of apples and see what [the primer students] like or don’t like,” said LaMendola.

In an ordinary school year, the pie contest takes place in the fall, during the State Fair. Due to COVID-19, it was postponed to the spring.

“It’ll move back to the fall after all this pandemic stuff is done,” LaMendola said.

Although the contest is a fun activity for the students, it is also an educational experience.

“The biggest part is the social-emotional piece to it so that the children learn,” said LaMendola. “New people on campus who bring us pies. We write them letters. We write thank-you notes and we write the invitations. They also greet people at the door and bring them through the pie contest and show them how it works and where to vote at the end.”

Aside from the social-emotional learning aspect of the contest, the lesson involves academics. As for what the primer class is making, it is predicted that they will be making an apple pie.

“We add the academics to it with math, science, literacy. Those pieces are added afterward,” said LaMendola. We’re really excited. The kids are stoked. They can’t wait to get started.”