Libby Mancaniello delighted Ms. Maria Zukas’s class of second grade students at the Lynn Woods School with a hands-on demonstration of how to make pasta Monday afternoon.
The students, including Mancaniello’s son, Jack, enjoyed the informative presentation that involved a hand-cranking machine that produced sheets of spaghetti. Later the students were treated to a luncheon of Mr. Mancaniello’s delicious pasta, meatballs, and bread. Lynn Woods parents Kim Parker and Kim Comeau provided trays of Italian pastries for dessert.
Mancaniello, owner of Maria’s Gourmet Pasta Products in Malden, appeared at the school in conjunction with a reading project involving author Tomie dePaola and his books, including Strega Nona. In the book pasta is made non-stop in a magic pot.
“I’m showing the students how we make pasta in the real world,” said Mancaniello, whose wife, Jennifer, is the vice principal of Lynn English High School.
Zukas said the event was a culmination of the students learning all about the author, whose most famous work is Strega Nona (Grandma Witch). The reading project was part of a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Education and WGBH-TV that was secured by the Lynn School Department
Ellen Fritz, principal of the Lynn Woods School, said that Mancaniello was a big hit with the students and his volunteer effort was emblematic of his family’s outstanding contribution to the school community.
“They are an incredible family and we’re seriously blessed to have them as part of our school community,” said Fritz. “The demonstration was great and we were excited to have him show the students how pasta is made. It’s a nice tie-in to the story that they’re reading.”
Zukas also praised Mancaniello for his efforts.
“The family has very generous to our school and we’re very grateful to Mr. Mancaniello for doing this demonstration. It’s a nice connection to our reading project and this was an enjoyable day for our students. It’s nice to see kids excited about books.”