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Santa Maria Sun / School Scene

The following article was posted on September 11th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 27 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 27

It's teatime at Alvin Elementary

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM


SUGAR TIME
Ethelwynn Reeves dropped a sugar cube into the waiting cup of an Alvin Elementary School second-grader during a proper English Tea service on Sept. 6.
PHOTO BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

Second-graders from four classes filed into the Alvin Elementary School cafeteria with teacups and saucers in hand on the morning of Sept. 6.

The students also had a little nametag, which they placed in or next to their cups on long cafeteria tables. As they sat on the floor to watch a skit about how to act during a proper English tea service, parent volunteers filled their cups with tea and got egg salad sandwiches, toast with jam and cream cheese, and cookies ready to go.

It’s a ritual that complements the unit students are working on with the book Mr. Potter and Tabby Pour the Tea. The book is about an elderly man who has tea every afternoon and his adventures with a cat he adopts. Jane Fletcher, the second-grade teacher who organized the tea, said they launched the unit last year.

“It’s the highlight of their year,” Fletcher said. “They talked about it all year.”

Fletcher participated in the skit as the American who knew nothing about proper tea. She played the part opposite her friend Ethelwynn Reeves, who was born and raised in England and now lives in Arroyo Grande. Reeves has been showing audiences the rigors of a proper English tea for a couple of years at the church she belongs to, Friends from Harvest Fellowship in Arroyo Grande.

After the skit, Reeves walked around the cafeteria doling out sugar cubes to students for their tea. Reeves said she doesn’t consider herself a “tea lady” per se, but she loves doing it.

“I don’t consider myself a proper tea-pouring person; I’m a bit of a radical,” she said with a laugh. “I just do it because it’s fun.”