Kensington teacher-turned-baker makes school sweeter

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Thursday, January 19, 2023
Kensington teacher-turned-baker makes school sweeter
Mr. Posnan is known for surprising students with cookies. But he is cooking up something much bigger to help them thrive.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "We are traditionally an underfunded district... And these kids walk through it every day, stepping through needles and drug dealers," said Zach Posnan. "But there are families that live here... and they deserve everything that everyone else has."

Posnan is a 5th and 6th-grade teacher at Conwell Middle Magnet School in Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood. There, he found it to be his responsibility to balance out the negativity that surrounds his students.

While teaching virtually from his home in 2020, Posnan started baking and founded a small business, Brass Monkey Bread Company. He frequently dropped off free bread products to his neighbors and eventually began donating to organizations like South Philly Community Fridge and Everybody Eats Philadelphia.

And once he returned to school in-person, he was able to make the classroom sweeter by surprising students with cookies and brownies.

"Just to let them know that life is not always so bitter," he said.

In addition to Posnan's baked donations, he recently started collecting monetary ones. In fact, a GoFundMe page reveals he has raised $14,000 to help build a digital media lab for students to learn technology.

Posnan also said he has collected more than $5,000 in offline contributions to the cause.

Students like Isabella Speier are already involved in a school journalism club and are excited to explore the program once it grows.

"They're raising money for the kids to have a better experience of what they want to be, like a writer or journalist and stuff like that," said Speier.

Posnan thinks it's an investment worth making for the next generation.

"People should not underestimate these kids because they are going to change the world one day," he said.

To learn more about Conwell Middle Magnet School, visit their website.

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