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Eugene elementary school sees success with new program

A line of parents and children at Friday’s Muffins with Mom event, sponsored by the Cole County R-5 Elementary School PTO, stretched around the gym waiting for the free keepsake portrait by volunteer photographer Stacey Blomberg.

A line of parents and children at Friday’s Muffins with Mom event, sponsored by the Cole County R-5 Elementary School PTO, stretched around the gym waiting for the free keepsake portrait by volunteer photographer Stacey Blomberg.

EUGENE, Mo. — Third-grader Abigail Barr knew exactly where her pink handprint was on the backdrop used for portraits Friday morning for the Cole County R-5 School PTO’s Muffins with Mom.

Abigail posed for a photo with her mom, Debbie Barr, after waiting in a line that snaked across the Eugene elementary gym. She brought her dad, Bob Barr, to the similar Doughnuts with Dad event in October, except that time her handprint was part of a camouflage and “Duck Dynasty” theme.

About 350 dads and children attended in the fall, and more than 400 moms and their students came out before classes this week. Another event for grandparents will be open April 4.

The Barr family is looking forward to framing the keepsake photos side-by-side.

Volunteer photographer Stacey Blomberg was glad to help her alma mater, though she was surprised at the high turnout.

Pam Lepper, PTO secretary, on the other hand, was not.

The series of informal breakfasts was an experiment this year, after experiencing logistical problems with a single VIP Day the past few years.

“It’s become so popular,” Lepper said.”We thought we’d try a different activity.”

In past years, the invited guests joined the classroom for part of the day. That put pressure on the teacher and stretched the comfortable space.

Holding the event in the gym allowed teachers to be in their classroom by the first bell, but also to mingle informally with parents, Lepper said.

“As a district, we’ve ramped up our efforts to promote family involvement and school spirit,” she said.

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