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San Jacinto News Times - Local News

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Pizza and books


By Megan Whitworth

Douglas Knudsen throws up pizza dough in the air to increase the dough's size as he talks about reading at Coldspring Area Public Library. "Any amount of reading that you're doing, whether its casual reading or reading for education," Knudsen said. "Any amount of reading enriches your life and makes you a better person." Knudsen, general manager of Domino's Pizza in Cleveland, along with Denise Beason, director of marketing for the pizza chain, visited CAPL to wrap-up the four-week Summer Reading Program on Wednesday, June 28. The pizza duo taught children how to make pizza, while also emphasizing the importance of reading. "Reading, I think is really a fundamental skill. I'm an English major, so it is something I am passionate about," Knudsen said. "It's a way to combine the things that I like to do in my life into the same thing – share pizza with people and at the same time, encourage them to read." Start first with Cornmeal, the general manager told the children. "The first thing we do is make sure the table, and our hands are coated in cornmeal. So that way, this incredible sticky dough doesn't stick to the table and doesn't stick to our hands," he said. "It lets us actually be able to manipulate it in the way we need to make a perfect pizza." The pizza duo then showed how to toss pizza dough in the air to increase the size. They then asked for volunteers and taught the children how to toss the pizza dough in the air. "Don't use your fingers," Knudsen said as the volunteers threw the dough in the air with their fists and hand palms, using fingers would cause holes in the dough. One volunteer, 10-year-old Cora Shirley said her favorite part was tossing the pizza in the air. She noted how difficult the task was, It took her three times to finally toss the dough in the air. "We came up to the table, and we pushed the dough and threw it up in the air, and played with it," she said. Another volunteer, 10-year-old Asia Dean also said it was difficult to toss the pizza in the air, but now she said she can make pizza at home after learning to make the meal at CAPL. After each attendee received a turn to learn how to toss pizza dough, the children were awarded with pepperoni and cheese pizzas from Domino's Pizza "I'm hoping that the children feel rewarded for their reading experience, number one. I think that's a big thing," Knudsen said. "I hope they continue to read and continue to grow as readers. I am hoping they associate pizza with that, obviously." Beason recommended pizza makers to "make sure ingredients are as fresh as can be" when starting to cook a pizza. Knudsen also added the secret to making a delicious pizza is love. "I've been told by my trainer the secret to make good pizza is love. If you don't care about it, then you won't put the effort into making good pizza," he said. "So, it's like anything else you do in life – as long as you have some kind of attention towards it, you're going to do great." Also going on at the library this summer is the library's Annual Book Review with guest author John Foxjohn on Thursday, July 13 from 2 – 4 p.m. at the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall in Coldspring. Tickets are $10, and will be on sale the day of the event at Methodist Church, as well as the library. There will also be desserts and a silent auction at the event. For more events and information on CAPL, visit coldspringlibrary. org.


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