Stu­dents en­joy pan­cake break­fast from Chip’s

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Jeff Fournier Jeff Fournier is prin­ci­pal of Biele­field school.

MID­DLE­TOWN >> Most in the Biele­field El­e­men­tary School cafe­te­ria weren’t sure which were warmer, the smiles of 300 kids or the Chip’s Fam­ily Restau­rant pan­cakes on their plates last week.

“The kids are so ex­cited. Even though we just got back from spring va­ca­tion this morn­ing, the kids re­mem­bered it was Chip’s pan­cake day. It makes me so happy to see them so happy. What’s re­ally spe­cial about this is that it’s for the whole school,” said Meghan Hes­lin, a kinder­garten teacher at the Mid­dle­town kinder­gar­tento fifth-grade school on May­nard Street.

“Some­times we feel a lit­tle for­got­ten up here on the hill. But this re­ally showed the staff and the kids that we’re not. We re­ally ap­pre­ci­ated this kind­ness shown to our kids,” she added.

That a sen­ti­ment echoed by school Prin­ci­pal Jeff Fournier.

John Wa­genknecht, who who man­ages the Trum­bull Chip’s lo­ca­tion cooked over 600 pan­cakes by 9 a.m. “When you see these kids and their smiles and hear their laugh­ter, it makes the cook­ing easy,” he said.

Wa­genknecht gave credit to Ge­orge Chat­zopou­los and Dina Ba­jko, co-own­ers of Chip’s Fam­ily Restau­rants.

Lo­cally, busi­ness leader Al­bert Ham­rah and Com­mon Coun­cil Ma­jor­ity Leader Thomas J. Serra fa­cil­i­tated the event.

Ham­rah said he was will­ing to fund the break­fast be­cause of his long-time pres­ence in Mid­dle­town and his love for the com­mu­nity, but that Chat­zopo­los in­sisted on mak­ing the do­na­tion out­right.

“Ge­orge de­serves a lot of credit for his giv­ing heart. When Tom ap­proached me with this need, I was happy to make the call to Ge­orgie,” he said.

Serra said the coun­cil re­ceived a let­ter from the school’s gover­nance coun­cil say­ing that hunger needs were in­creas­ing at Biele­field. “My wife and I are re­tired ed­u­ca­tors, and I think we were both moved to ac­tion to read and see the sta­tis­tics at Biele­field and even across the city,” he said.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Mid­dle­town’s Biele­field El­e­men­tary School kinder­gart­ner Ali Trevor­row is in Maghan Hes­lin’s class.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

First-grader Mayson Cal­lis is a stu­dent of teacher Stacey Pusz.

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