GLOVERSVILLE - Though sixth- grader Kyleigh Abraham and her little sister don't often help their mother, Lauriena Bump, cook the nightly dinners, the three of them spent Wednesday night at the Gloversville Middle School making chicken alfredo and no-bake cookies.
"I brought my girls here just for the experience," said Bump. "I am not that big on alfredo, but it's the time with them that makes this great to attend."
The three were among those taking part in Cooking with Class, a city school district event designed to bring students from all grade levels and parents together by teaching them cooking and other skills.
Family and Community
Educator Janice Blodgett, left, and seventh-grader Teyanna
Glass-Wheeler make garlic bread for the Cooking with Class event Wednesday.
"Teaching life skills is really important to students because many of them don't know the first thing about making a real meal," said district Family Community Educator Janice Blodgett. "The students and parents here tonight are getting great instruction on how to make a meal from scratch with a free dinner to boot."
The Cooking with Class event was hosted by home and careers teacher Dixie Wickham, who taught students
and parents the proper way to prepare and cook food. The menu for the event was chicken alfredo with garlic bread, peanut butter no-bake cookies and homemade lemonade.
The parents and students worked together to prepare the free dinner for about 40 people who showed up for the class using a recipe that was provided by Wickham. Students also learned during the event the proper way to set a table with placemats and other eating utensils.
The students and parents were split in half so each group learned how to make the meal while the others learned how to make the dessert. ?About halfway through, the groups switched stations.
"The parents really seemed to enjoy the event," said district Family and Community Educator Paul Meher. "The food turned out to be great."
Meher said he's unsure if the school will hold an event exactly like this one in the future, but he said the school is considering the idea to host a dinner and movie night, where students and parents would make a similar pasta dish and then watch a movie together.
His daughter, sixth-grader Emily Meher, said she enjoyed making the no-bake cookies.
"My favorite thing about this was the cookies; they were fun to make and really good," she said with a laugh.
Middle School Assistant Principal Nicole Lent said she was impressed to see the amount of participation at the event.
"It is nice to see the increase in participation because it seems like every time, more and more students and parents are showing up for these community-involvement events," said Lent.
This was the first cooking event, but last month, the district held a talent night in which about 80 people attended, said Paul Meher.
The Community Interaction Committee learned through a parent survey that parents would be interested in attending events such as cooking and concerts with students, and decided to put these kinds of events together this year, said Blodgett.
"It would be great to use the talent of all our teachers with music and art nights as well," said Lent.
"We are making a shift this year from family involvement to family engagement," Blodgett said. "The thing we are trying to accomplish with events like this is to get the community more involved with the school."
The next parent student event will be the Family Fun Night holiday concert at the high school auditorium Dec. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will feature holiday music from Paul Tondreau, and then the Beth Zaje Band will take the stage to play original music.
Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.