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Moms, muffins make students’ school day a little more special

Students at Orchard Heights Elemen-tary had something a little extra to be excited about on Wednesday morning as they arrived at school — hot chocolate, muffins ... and Mom.

The Orchard Heights Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) organized and funded the sixth-annual Muffins for Moms Wednesday, an event that celebrates students’ mothers or other females special to them by inviting them to join the children in a before-school breakfast of muffins, pastries, hot chocolate and coffee.

After breakfast, parents and guardians were invited to accompany their children to class.

From 8 a.m. until the start of school at 8:35, hundreds of children in every grade and their mothers shed their winter garb and sat at the long cafeteria tables, allowing parents to catch up with each other and students to talk with peers they would normally only see at recess.

“We’ve been in the same class since last year,” said Jeremy Dutton, Jr., 6, a plucky red-headed first-grader of his friend Jonathan Marlin, 7.

“You get to meet all their friends this way, too,” said Dutton’s mother Theresa.

Theresa Dutton explained that things have changed since David LaRose became principal of Orchard Heights at the beginning of the year.

“It’s changed a lot,” Dutton said. “The lines of communication are wide open.”

LaRose moved to South Kitsap and has worked at six schools previous to coming to Orchard Heights. With both a 15- and an 11-year-old daughter, LaRose credits organizations like the PTSO for events that benefit both students and parents.

“A lot of these types of activities are designed to generate money, but this is not one of them,” said LaRose, wearing a Spiderman tie and sitting in the middle of his SpongeBob SquarePants-bedecked office. “The purpose of these activities is to provide a service (the parents and children).”

The PTSO funded the Muffins for Moms by shelling out $206. It hopes to do the same on Feb. 9 for its sixth-annual Donuts for Dads.

“We’re involved in every aspect of the school,” said Leah Walls, who facilitates public relations for the PTSO.

Under the slogan “Caring Together, Achieving Together,” the Orchard Heights Sharks’ PTSO is organizing several upcoming events for parents and students, including Donuts for Dads, the school’s 60th birthday celebration on Feb. 25 and the school’s Coins for Caring coin drive for the tsunami victims.

Coins and donations will be collected at the school until Friday, Jan. 14, then donated to Mercy Corps.

On Feb. 1, Orchard Heights teachers and staff will be working at Bucks A&W on SE Mile Hill Drive.

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