Cookin’ Up Community in Schools

                                         Coach Josh riding on his bike home

                                       Coach Josh riding on his bike home

Taynara arrived in her red apron.  She was ready to learn, create and cook up some healthy culinary delights, along with nine other 3rd Graders right after school.  They call themselves the “Curious Culinarians Club”. 

It started with three kids talking about what type of foods they like.  They hatched the idea of a cooking club and took it to Stevenson Elementary Site Coach Josh.  Coach Josh listened, affirmed their excitement and encouraged them, “if you can find seven more excited 3rd graders, we’ll do it.”  The next day ten curious kids surrounded him after school.  No turning back now.

They huddled.  Coach Josh helped them define their mission; work as a team, start with the food they like, be creative in making food healthier, and, record their recipes so their work would culminate in a Curious Kids Cookbook they could sell to help cover their food costs.

Off to the kitchen. Their first creation: a Cupcake baked in an Ice Cream Cone.  The challenge was to make it healthier and still make it taste good.  Applesauce, dates and cinnamon were key ingredients to create a new “icing.”  Each had an assigned role.  Their cupcake concoction went into the “Ready Bake” oven.  Together they tasted, then discussed how to make it better in appearance and taste.  

They never gave up.  Together they became perpetual learners, more creative and committed.  They learned about carbs and how to eliminate them and cook “organic.”  Their popular pizzas are made with scrumptious cauliflower crusts.  The Curious Culinarians all receive free and reduced-price lunches. Not only are they passionately engaged, they are learning and applying math skills, measuring ingredients, learning team discipline, and following and recording their recipes.  In addition, teachers even report that the Curious Culinarians are now more productive in class and arrive on time ready to learn.   

At the end of their cooking club, all culinarians clean-up together and get ready to go home…and help their moms cook at home.  After Coach Josh sees each culinarian onto their bus, he jumps on his bike and pedals home to Ballard across the new 520 Bridge, full of healthy energy, love, and hope for kids who just want to belong.

That’s how Jubilee REACH Site Coaches cook up community and hatch clubs and activities in our Bellevue Public Schools.  Curious Culinary Cooking Clubs are coming to more schools too!

Thanks for helping us cook up hope, health, and community in our schools!