I teach Culinary Arts/English Language Arts in a self-contained Special Education high school for students primarily classified as Emotionally and Behaviorally Disturbed. I work with students ages 14-21 years old. This school provides many of our students with their last opportunity to earn a traditional high school diploma.
For most of my students the word community means little or nothing. The reality that many of them express is that the only person that they can count on is themselves. Since last year, I have had the opportunity to work with a small group of young men, each who express an interest in cooking and food related subjects. They all have set the goal of either pursuing a food-related career or to attend a culinary college. This is a mixed class, grades 10-12th grade but their average reading level is at the 7th grade level or below. By combining their interests in food with ELA, my students are able to work on their reading and writing skills while immersing themselves in topics that they really enjoy. As a class they experienced the fulfillment of reading an entire book-together (for all of them, this was a first). As they read the book they were able to make connections with each other and understand that even if they are all from different places---they all share things in common. I have been able to see how literature and food have drawn them together. They now watch out for each other in the halls and offer words of support to each other.
Because of facility limitations my school is unable to install commercial grade appliances. I would like for my students, at the very least, to work with commercial grade cookware. They are passionate about food and excited to share their creations with each other---all we are missing are reliable tools with which to work.
Your donation will help my students understand the word community in a different way. They now know that they can rely on each other, but strangers are a different story.
|Revere® Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware, 7-Piece Set • Sax Family & Consumer Science, Inc.||$124.95||3||$374.85|
|Stainless Steel Stock Pots 8-Piece Set • Sax Family & Consumer Science, Inc.||$49.99||2||$99.98|
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This classroom project was brought to life by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and one other donor.