In response to Covid-19 guidelines, schools and community organizations are shut down, children are stuck at home, and parents are struggling to provide 3 meals each day. For the most at-risk families, cooking from scratch can make scarce dollars go further and provide more nutrition. But too many Americans don’t know how to cook.
That’s why we have created FamilyCook LIVE Online versions of our award-winning programs and want to make them available to schools and community organizations everywhere: Willow (preschool); Look Who’s Cooking (elementary kids + parents together) and Teen Battle Chef (adolescent).
What We’ve Learned So Far
It’s remarkable how comfortable young people are to come together virtually online. Instructors had a bigger learning curve to learn to fully utilize their virtual classroom.
Facilitators for Virtual online cooking instruction observed:
- Students knew the ‘chat room etiquette” and stayed ‘muted’ until it was their turn to speak.
- Kids greeted each other with nicknames and excited voices as each new friend entered the ‘room.’ This created a very welcoming atmosphere.
- The young people were quick to support each other with online-delivery barriers that came up related to ingredient substitution or how to share cooking assignments with the devices they had available.
Potential Barriers to online cooking instruction:
- On-time attendance – very similar to actual classroom instruction, kids straggled in over about 20 minutes, but it was not disruptive.
- Instructors transitions from PowerPoint screen-sharing to live action were not seamless, yet this did not come off as awkward or frustrating – it was similar to waiting as instructor searched for a dry erase pan that was NOT dried out in an actual classroom. Pause and wait.
- Ingredients needing to be provided by each participants – this was a concern that kids seem to be motivated to work through with substitute ideas from both peers and instructors; giving ingredient list a few weeks in advance is helpful
- Trying a new food – some students feel less compelled to try something new at home, when, typically the positive peer pressure in a classroom where most kids are trying what they cooked will surmount this obstacle.
How to Participate
We have diverted some of our community funding to make this education more widely available by offering teacher training scholarships to entire school districts and community organizations to deliver this critical education. Schools with active PTO’s and community groups, who have funding for virtual programming, can take advantage of our reduced-cost offerings.
Our current funding can support training scholarships for 5 new school districts and community organizations in the most at-risk communities across the US. We will be able to support even more school districts through our new GoFundMe campaign.
Schools and community organizations can sign-up here.
And coming soon, we will have FamilyCook online curricula for parents and children at home!
Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-867-3929