Monday, August 20, 2012

Bon Appetit!

This past Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, our Press Club students received some extra-curricular lessons in the culinary arts—from the inside of a truck.  That’s right!  The Winchester, located at 648 Wealthy Street SE, sent over their comically named food truck “What the Truck” along with some of their chefs to give our Press Club students a meaningful food experience.  Students were divided into small groups and given one full hour of hands-on instruction that involved everything from tenderizing pasta noodles to garnishing rice combos with fresh chesses and herbs.  Yum!  Needless to say, as soon as our lunch hour hit, we were all anxious and excited to see what our Press Club students were going to prepare for us.

Our lunch was indeed delicious!  During their first session, Press Club students prepared a fresh summer salad consisting of lettuce and cherry tomatoes topped off with touches of balsamic vinegar.  Next, servings of linguini pasta that were coated with alfredo sauce and sprinkled with bread crumbs had summer program students raving with approval.  Dessert was a small bowl of red grapes, which was a perfectly health conscious and refreshing end to an all-around fabulous meal.  Both “What the Truck” and its food were huge hits with our staff and our summer program students. 

But what did Press Club students glean from their experience in the truck’s mobile kitchen?  Antonio J. shared that he liked being introduced to new and different kinds of food.  “I never even heard of linguini before,” he said with excitement.  “I thought it was gum!”  His peers and instructors were equally impressed by the food that the kids helped prepare.  When given the chance, everyone would want seconds after!  “Everybody wanted, like, five of them!” said Edgar J., referring to the delicious fajitas that he helped prepare on the second day.  He too was impressed with how the tastes, spices and new ways of preparing food differed from how he originally envisioned them being.  So what was the overall consensus of such a special visit our friends at The Winchester?  We think that Edgar J. had it right when he said “They make everything good!” :)   

An enormous, fun-filled thanks to The Winchester and "What the Truck" for their time, energy, and an overall delicious encounter with our summer program students and staff!        
Press Club siblings Juan and Ana T. sampling some pasta on their day off from cooking!   

Antonio J. and Ignacio L. having a blast as they serve their peers some lunch! 

Indira M. and Donny H. sharing a laugh as they prepare a fruity dessert in the back station of "What the Truck."
Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities administers the programs of the Cook Arts Center and the Cook Library Center.   

Friday, August 3, 2012

GAAH Family Spotlight

Many families pass through our doors on a daily basis, and many of the children have been coming here since they were toddlers. This week, we celebrate a very special family by putting them in our GAAH Family "Spotlight." As part of our Spotlight, we celebrate area families who dedicate their time, energy and endless support to their children's education and involvement in the arts. This month we are celebrating the Hernandez family!

S., the mother of three children who participate in our after-school and summer programs, has been involved in GAAH since 2004. She first became involved with the Cook Arts Center through a Head Start program that was housed here. She brought her toddler and later involved her second child before the program was moved to another location. Both children have been our involved in arts programs at the Arts Center ever since. That makes for a solid 11 years that S. and her family have been involved in GAAH programming. Wow!

For S. and her family, the Cook Arts Center is something very personal. She is extremely grateful to the organization's founders, donors and staff for the opportunity to involve her children in activities she considers to be "very important for their future." "I am very happy," she said. "This is the best home that my children could be in aside from their own...they're benefiting from so many good things." S. appreciates the unity among the students regardless of age, race or economic status. "Older students include and protect the younger ones while cross-racial relationships are continually established, and one can see the harmony in this place," she said.

Thank you, Hernandez family, for being such a wonderful part of our organization! We hope that you will continue to be involved for many more years to come! :)