Grade 7 & 8 students are owning the kitchen thanks to Project COOK, an 8-week program that teaches children and youth about food literacy.
“Food is a life skill,” said Suzanne Newman, a Nutritionist with the City of Hamilton Public Health Services. She added that being able to prepare a meal is important for both good health and good finances.
The program is offered in partnership with Public Health Services through Health Kids Community Challenge funding to promote healthy behaviours in children and youth. This past September, more than 650 HWCDSB intermediate students joined Chef Charlene Talwin in the kitchen at the St. Charles Adult & Continuing Education Centre for 8 hours of hands-on food preparation.
Commenting on the students’ enthusiastic reception to the program, Superintendent of Education Morris Hucal said, “When kids are engaged in their learning, they tend to feel better about themselves. I can’t underestimate the potential effect this program can have to support student mental wellness.”
The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board has received funding to extend the program to six new schools.
Watch the video to learn more about Project COOK.