“What is your favorite day of the week, Kelsie?? Is it Tuesday because you get to cook with us?”
This is a question frequently asked by my second grade class and it got me thinking… As a FoodCorps member, what is my favorite day of the week?
Every Monday I get to experience the magic of kindergarten and first grade. This is the most eager and energetic group of kids I teach. They have the best, “I’m ready for anything” attitude of all the classes I lead. When given the choice between dying Easter eggs and painting pictures of zucchinis and tomatoes on rocks for the garden, they dove head first into veggie painting saying things like, “Kelsie, do you think I could please paint ONE more carrot rock??” I love Monday’s because of the enthusiasm that the kids have everyday.
On Tuesday and Thursday the Boys & Girls Club has “clubs” for the third, forth and fifth graders to participate in. Including “Gardening Group” and “Cooking Club”. These groups are a way for the older kids to take ownership in their after school experience. In recent weeks, the Garden Group has initiated the beginnings of a compost program. Each day kids bring me food scraps from home or even worms they found on the ground and ask if they can contribute to the compost bin. Cooking Club has been an active participant of in the Montana Harvest of The Month program. In coordination with beef month, Cooking Club participated in the Boys & Girls Club Fourth Annual Chili Cook-off. Using a basic chili recipe, they modified it into something of their own while using local beef and learning more about Montana beef and food safety. Not only did these third, fourth and fifth graders participate in the chili cook off, they also ended up winning!
I tackle the adventure of cooking with second grade on Wednesday. Each week we make a different recipe to combine the worlds of cooking and nutrition. We have made “Vitamin A Burritos” and “Kale & Red Cabbage Salad” among many other. The second grade is a very vocal group and not afraid to tell me how the recipe we made really tastes. Each week I have at least one person make a comment such as, “This is the BEST thing in the WORLD” or “This was maybe not my favorite, Kelsie”. I love how honest and descriptive they have become with when we cook together.
Friday I get to work with every grade as we rotate through different stations. I often lead various nutrition games such as “BEAN-Go” or “Veggie Pictionary”. On this day I get to see each group and sometimes even the middle school students. So, what is my favorite day? Friday. This is the day that I spend time with each group and usually I get to learn just as much from them as they are from me.