First CES Culinary Club Cohort 'graduates'

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Before school took a recess for Christmas break,  Carrollton Elementary School’s Culinary Club held a graduation celebration featuring – you guessed it – food.

The students participated in one last activity before receiving certificates commemorating their completion of the after-school program. They prepared Christmas tree plates, donned with fresh produce such as broccoli, tomatoes, peppers and other fruits and vegetables that allowed their creativity to blossom. The students then shared their designs with their culinary peers, led by FoodCorps service member Sara Black, who is working with the Carrollton City Schools Nutrition Program this school year and serves as the club’s adviser.

The club, started last fall, will welcome a new cohort of students for the spring semester. Designed for second and third graders, CES Culinary Club will hold its first meeting of the semester the week of Jan. 8.

Dr. Linette Dodson, director of School Nutrition for the district, said the introduction of the club has been so popular a waiting list had to be created. Plans are to also hold a Culinary Club camp this summer to provide more opportunities for students to learn about food preparation and to introduce them to new healthy food options.

For the graduation celebration, parents and others were invited to attend and participate in the holiday food activity.  Nicole Marie Perezcassar, the mother of two Culinary Club participants, third grader Eva and second grader Nicole, said the experience has been a wonderful one for her daughters.

“Our family has made an effort to expose our children to all kinds of food, but there were still some new experiences for the girls,” she said. One particular dish, the cole slaw made at the first club meeting, “made so much of an impression on them they had to come home to talk about it.”

(photo)

Fifteen Carrollton Elementary School students “graduated” from Culinary Club in December. They are, from left, are Taylor McDowell, Haylin Palmer, Mariyah Echols, Aubrey Guerra,  Eva Perezcassar, Journee Shackelford, Nicole Perezcassar, Corrie Kirby, Mary Williams,  Evie Poor, Levi Schillinger, Joseph Worland, Landon Blankinship,  and Maddie Henderson. Pictured with the students are Sara Black, FoodCorps service member, and Dr. Linette Dodson, director of School Nutrition for Carrollton City Schools. Not pictured is club member Joy Xia Sceals.