(Kirk’s Blessings) – Cooking with kids is a wonderful classroom activity, providing many opportunities for learning, such as nutrition, math, science, and teamwork. One snowy day at Kirk’s Blessings, in Tazewell, Virginia, the early childhood teacher, Ashley Clemmons, took this opportunity to make homemade bread with her class, using a simple recipe she found online. She gathered the few ingredients ahead of time, wrote the recipe out so she could guide the children through each step, and everyone counted and measured with scoops and bowls. The best part for the children was handmixing and squishing all the ingredients together inside a plastic bag.
Ashley says, “The children were very involved, and loved this project. The project enforced teamwork, which we strive to teach the children every day.” She suggested pairing the older children with the younger ones to help knead the dough inside the ziplock bag. The floury hands and aprons cleaned up quickly, but this classroom will always remember the fun, pride, and delicious taste of baking their own loaves of bread.
ABOUT THIS SERIES
This story is part of United Way of Southwest Virginia’s spotlight series highlighting five programs in our Virginia Quality network during the 2017 Week of the Young Child™, when we formally recognize the importance of early learning and early literacy and celebrate the providers who bring early childhood education to young children. Through these stories, you will see the investment these programs are making in the lives of tomorrow’s workforce – teaching them to create, learn, eat healthy, sing, dance, problem-solve, think, engage, and celebrate – and preparing them for the next steps in their journey through life in Southwest Virginia. To read other stories in this Week of the Young Child™ spotlight series, visit www.netnswvarelief.wpengine.com/week-of-the-young-child.
ABOUT UNITED WAY OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA
United Way of Southwest Virginia fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Southwest Virginia because they are the building blocks for a good quality of life. Through an initiative-based cradle-to-career approach, United Way of Southwest Virginia is creating sustainable solutions to address the challenges facing tomorrow’s workforce. United Way convenes cross-sector partners to make an impact on the most complex problems in our region. Through collaboration with government, business, nonprofit and individuals, United Way innovates for positive, lasting social change. With a footprint that covers almost 15% of the state of Virginia, United Way of Southwest Virginia serves Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington and Wise, and the cities of Galax and Norton. For more information about United Way of Southwest Virginia, visit www.UnitedWaySWVA.org.
ABOUT WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD
Week of the Young Child™, sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), is an opportunity for early childhood programs across the country, including child care and Head Start programs, preschools, and elementary schools, to hold activities to bring awareness to the needs of young children. For more information and inspiration on how you can celebrate Week of the Young Child™, visit www.naeyc.org.