Building Community and Teaching Math

This cooking instruction was the idea of Resident District Manager Laura Thompson, who sought to expand Harvest Table’s participation in the program beyond just serving meals. She brought her insight to Dr. Jean Rattigan-Rohr, Executive Director, Community Partnerships and Director of the Center for Access and Success. Dr. Rohr loved the ideas and together they collaborated on a program to use cooking to teach math skills to middle grade students. Executive Chef Jay Vetter created three recipes that the students learned to scale during the in-class component of the tutoring. Students also learned about fractions, measurements, and weights.

The Harvest Table team has always been thrilled to take part in the program and celebrated the end of the fall semester with a special event featuring age-appropriate classes focused on healthy cooking and eating. Roughly 400 guests—250 kids and their parents—attended the celebration. Grades kindergarten through fifth enjoyed a health-focused program led by Harvest Table’s registered dietitian. The students learned about MyPlate and the importance of eating a nutritional, balanced meal while sampling fruits, vegetables, and smoothies. They were invited to vote on their favorites and, according to Thompson, “There were a lot of smiling faces, a lot of laughs.”

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