Engaging Families for Student Success

The Four Hundred and Forty-Eight Hour Cake

March 28, 2014


Tabitha Mayo presented this cake to Turning the Page at Patterson Elementary’s final Community Night of the school year on Wednesday. Ms. Mayo is a mother of two and a professional baker. As the TTP staff, several Patterson teachers, 34 Patterson parents, and 39 Patterson students can now testify, she has perfected her trade.

Did it take Ms. Mayo 448 hours to bake this cake? Probably not, though it did take an entire evening. We dubbed this cake the “448 Hour Cake” because it was presented at the culmination of Patterson Elementary’s 8th Community Night, and:

28 parents (on average), each spending 2 hours at 8 Community Nights = 448 hours of Community Nights.

Of course, wrapping up Community Nights for the semester doesn’t mean Turning the Page is slowing down; planning is well underway for summer field trips and our upcoming Parent Leadership Conference, but this did seem like an appropriate moment to reflect on everything Turning the Page and Patterson Elementary parents have accomplished in the first year of our partnership, including, for instance, the fact that we cut this cake into 132 pieces.

Why is this an accomplishment? Because as anyone who has ever tried to build a new team, coalition or partnership can understand, it can be difficult to generate the kind of connections and enthusiasm capable of filling classrooms on a weeknight. It can be even more difficult to do this quickly.

So looking around the packed cafeteria and workshop room on Wednesday night, it was hard to believe that TTP is a relative newcomer to the Patterson Community. But as parents, teachers, students and TTP staff enjoyed 132 pieces of cake—with ice cream they had made themselves as part of a family learning workshop on “kitchen sink science”— it was clear that this partnership is and will remain a thriving partnership.

So, with that in mind, Turning the Page wants to thank Ms. Mayo for such a generous and delicious gift, and we want to thank the entire Patterson community—parents, teachers, school staff, and students—for the 448 hours you have allowed us to share with you already. We’re looking forward to the next 448!