Community Kitchen Fosters Literacy Program

An organization in British Columbia is running an innovative literacy program based on learning how to cook — via Readers to Eaters:

Developing literacy and happy stomachs

For three years the Community Kitchen, run under the Literacy Program of Smithers Community Services, has been teaching people the fundamentals of cooking.

Jo-Anne Nugent, who runs the program, said that the program really works to bridge different generations. Right now they have a group of about nine youth from the Bulkley Valley Learning Centre who participate in the program, along with some of the older crowd.

“It’s kind of neat to have the different generations together in the kitchen,” said Nugent.

The program runs out of the St. James Anglican Church behind Safeway and across the street from the Princess Garden, which had been a source of food for three years until now, as the garden is in the processing of finding a new home.

Before that the garden would actually supplement the food they used in their recipes.

Although people sometimes find it odd to consider it this way, she points out that this community kitchen is a literacy program.

“You have to organize, you have to read recipes, you have to do math to multiply or divide…you have to problem solve if you don’t have an ingredient,” said Nugent. “As a group working in the kitchen, that gives you more literacy skills.”

She said as people work together you star to see their strengths develop. Read more…


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