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Chef’s Program in Blackville

The Chef's Program instructors from left to right: Tiffany Keenan, Kiersten Brennan, Pat Colford and April Jardine (photo by Jules Keenan)

The Chef’s Program instructors from left to right: Tiffany Keenan, Kiersten Brennan, Pat Colford and April Jardine (photo by Jules Keenan)

by Jules Keenan

Everybody knows the importance of teaching our kids how to cook and fend for themselves before they move out to start living on their own, but this can be a hard thing to do, especially when we might be unsure how to trust them in the kitchen, or have trouble finding the time to show them.

Blackville School, however, has started hosting a program to change this.

On February 3rd of this year, Keirsten Brennan, the community wellness ambassador, along with the help of Dr. Tiffany Keenan and other instructors began a program that teaches Elementary students to cook with simple, healthy recipes in very little time.

“It started last year with a unique program for high school students,” Dr. Keenan said. “This year we wanted to offer it to younger students. It is called the Chef’s Program and was designed by the Department of Health.”

The Chef’s Program runs from 3-5 pm every Wednesday after school for 12 weeks, and is currently offered to grade five students. Students are taught how to cook healthy recipes with simple ingredients, showing them that even if there seems to be very little time to make yourself a meal, there is always a better option than fast food.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” said teacher Lori Brophy, who stopped by to see where the great smell was coming from.

Alex Martin, the father of Tyra Martin, who is one of the students in the program, said, “It’s very good for them. It teaches them how to clean and cook and teaches them responsibility.”

Students really enjoy it as well. When asked most said the program was amazing and they loved it.

“It’s really good and I always look forward to it,” said Amber Hambrook, a student from the program.

The instructor for the program, April Jardine said, “ I love it; everything about cooking and teaching the kids. It truly is a great opportunity.”

“It’s definitely different.” said Kiersten. “You get a lot of one-on-one time with the students,and we make different things every week.”

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The Chef’s program is a unique program that encourages kids and gets them excited about cooking at home. Everyone involved is excited for the program to start up again next year.

“We’d love to continue, but we just need more volunteers.”

If you are interested in volunteering or becoming involved, please contact Keirsten at kiersten.wellnessworker@gmail.com.

Jules Keenan is a writer and amateur photographer who is currently a Grade 10 student at Blackville High School.

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