Students Learn To Make Pizza At Kilroy’sFree Access

SEDGWICK—The atmosphere inside Kilroy’s Pizza and Cafe was abuzz last Thursday. A group of nine students from Hope Learning Center in Maize visited Kilroy’s to make their own personal pizzas—and then, of course, eat them.

“If you don’t like it, it’s not my fault because you made it,” Val Pfeifer, co-owner of Kilroy’s, teased students.

One student, Christopher, had loaded his pizza up with a bunch of toppings.

“Cheese, pepperoni, sausage and Canadian bacon,” he said.

He was no beginner at making pizza.

“I’ve been here before,” he said.


This was the second year that students have taken a field trip to Kilroy’s, with Christopher being one of the students who came last time.

As he waited for his pizza pie to be popped into the oven, he had a prediction for how it would taste.

“Amazing, just like you,” he said.

Another student, William, said his pizza had tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni on it. He said pizza was his favorite. He, too, had a prediction for how the pizza would taste.

“Yummy,” he said.

Other students were having just as much fun making pizza.

“I liked it,” Hana said, adding that her favorite topping is cheese. She thought her pizza would taste good.

Nearby, Chris was working to flatten some leftover dough, flipping it back and forth like a professional.

Following back up with the students a little later as they munched the pizza, their predictions turned out to be spot on.

“I like it,” Hana said.

“Yummy,” William confirmed.

Sedgwick resident Robin Armfield, who works at Hope Learning Center, said the students visiting Kilroy’s were part of the school’s TransNet program.

“It’s for graduated high school students, so they’re ages 19-21,” she said. “We work with them about job skills, going out on job sites and getting them more ready for group homes and that sort of stuff.”

Armfield said students go to places like the zoo or Botanica to learn job skills.

“They go through our program and graduate from it after three years, and then they can go to a group home or some of them stay at home.”

Armfield normally teaches a cooking class, showing students every step of the process, from choosing a menu to shopping for ingredients to making a complete meal. She has five students in her class. One of their recent dishes was meatloaf.

Hope Learning Center has 52 students altogether, who come from the nine school districts including Sedgwick that were part of the former Sedgwick County Area Educational Services Interlocal Cooperative before it split into three smaller co-ops.

After the students were finished eating their pizza, they each paid Pfeifer $1. Casey Crowell, the community site coordinator for Hope Learning Center, said this was to give them a sense of empowerment and dignity.

“They don’t have a lot of chances like this, so this is pretty amazing,” he said.

Crowell explained that his role was to arrange opportunities, like the trip to Kilroy’s, to give students experiences they may not get otherwise.

“It’s always a good time when pizza’s involved,” he said with a laugh.

After the students had loaded back into their vans to head back to school, Pfeifer gave her assessment on how the field trip had gone.

“Perfect,” she said.

She added it was great because quite a few of the students had come last year. She said Hope Learning Center was welcome there anytime.

Kilroy’s has been in business 26 years, run by Val Pfeifer, her husband Kevin and their son Mike. Kevin was the founder of Gambino’s Pizza, which he started in 1977 in Parsons and over time expanded to more than 30 locations. Mike was the one who decided to start a location in Sedgwick after the family had sold the other Gambino’s locations. The recipe is the same.


Students learn to make pizza at Kilroy’s

Students and staff from Hope Learning Center take a group photo after finishing their pizza lunch at Kilroy’s.

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