Tupper Community Schools has asked for $6,000 from the Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund Adopt-a-School program to expand their popular Cooking and Nutrition Program, which often has a waitlist.
Project background: The Tupper Community Schools Team has run cooking and nutrition programs for the past five years. Project Purpose and Plan: This coming year our plan is to continue to expand the program to enable more students to have the opportunity to learn basic cooking and nutrition skills. We see this as an important program to develop as it is an essential life skill for our children and youth to have. This will allow them to take care of themselves and their family when needed. It is also a way for them to contribute to their family, learn a new skill and build confidence. They will learn the basics of nutrition; what foods to eat on a regular basis, how to shop for the best items, how to budget and meal planning. We will hire a Cooking and Nutrition Programmer who will oversee the program. They will be responsible for creating weekly lesson plans, shopping, Youth Leader training and recipe development. We will be using a mentorship model where Youth Leaders are trained to teach elementary students. This way the youth as well as the younger students will learn together, the youth will be the teachers under the supervision of a staff person.
There are a number of reasons this is a priority for us to pursue. It meets a number of the CST goals such as grade 7 to 8 transition, community and school connection, attendance and partnership development. It is our most popular program so it is a way to engage some of our most isolated students; those in grades 6-7 and who are newcomers to Canada. Food is an effective way of bringing students from a variety of ethnic backgrounds together, creating common ground for getting to know each other and building a connection with their school and community. Our plan is to continue to create nutritious, tasty and child friendly recipes which are also fairly easy and simple to make. We will use ethnically diverse foods as a way to understand the many cultures in our community. It will also be an opportunity for the participants to look at food in a new way. When children participate in the creation of a meal they are more likely to try foods they are not familiar with. It allows them to be more adventurous. The students will create their own booklet of recipes. Not only will this give the students the information they will need to recreate the recipes at home but it will also provide the opportunity to build in math, reading and writing literacy activities. We will go on field trips to see firsthand how food is produced. Students will also go to local markets to see what food is available and the best way to source items they need from stores in their neighbourhood. We will organize an end of term feast with families to show case students cooking. This will be a opportunity for the families to see the capabilities of their children and for the youth to show case their teaching skills.
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