The students were excited to return from the holidays. We discussed our New Year’s resolutions and how we will continue to “grow” in the new year. The students were given new chef hats and were asked to design them in a way that represents who they are. Some drew pictures of their hobbies like dancing or music and some illustrated their strengths such as academics or sports. They also included pictures of things that inspired them such flowers, fish and friendship. The students then wrote in their “recipe books” how and why they designed their hats the way they did. They were proud and excited to share with their friends what they wrote.
Next we talked about one of my New Year’s resolutions which is to eat healthier. A part of Read a Recipe for Literacy is to encourage students to eat and live healthier. One way we accomplish this is through exposing the students to healthy snacks. This past week we made fruit kebabs! The students enjoyed putting together their snacks before they devoured them. It was a fun way to start the new year!
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” “You are the apple of my eye,” “Don’t upset the apple cart”. Who knew there were so many sayings about apples! Apples are “growing” in our area right now and I thought it would be fun to explore the different sayings and find the meaning behind them. The students were paired up and selected one of the sayings to discuss with the rest of the group. It was pleasantly surprising how many they were able to figure out.
An important part of our program is healthy living. The students made a fresh apple crisps. The students enjoyed cutting up the apples and adding ingredients to make their apple crisps. As we read the recipe we talked about different words like drizzle, optional and sprinkle. Check out the photos of the students enjoying their fresh apple crisps on our Gallery page.
The students then were asked to write poems using apples as the subject. They were read several poems about apples. When it was explained to them that the poems were written by students younger than them they became inspired and wrote wonderful apple poems!
Our program is off to a great start! The students were eager to get to get to the library to find out what the topic would be. Growing! When I asked the children what it meant I was given a variety of answers; “I grew 2 inches” “The trees” “Businesses can grow” They were all right! I read them the definition of growing from Webster’s dictionary: to become larger: to increase in size, amount, etc.: to become better or improved in some way: to become more developed. They then began responding with; “I am growing in math” and “I met new friends this year in school”.
The children will focus on our growing community, how they can grow in some way; by learning something new and also what is growing physically on our local farms. We will be thinking both locally and globally. The students were given their new chef hats to decorate and their new “recipe books” to begin their writing. Their first entry was to write about of course; “Growing”. What are they growing at? What is growing locally in their community? What is something they want to learn or become better at? Then they began to write!
Welcome to Julie’s blog! I’m Julie and I am the facilitator for the Read a Recipe for Literacy Program in New York. I am so excited to begin this blog to share all of the wonderful experiences I have had participating in this program. I’ve been with RRL for the past three years and have had the opportunity to work with many members within our community to build a successful program where children are exposed the importance of communication, literacy, and community awareness. You can check out all of our wonderful participants on our partner’s page.
The program in New York runs throughout the school year where the children meet once a week at Floyd Memorial Library, located in Greenport, NY, to learn about their community through guest speakers, communication and field trips to local farms and businesses. Each four to eight week session is based on a theme and that theme is usually a product that is grown locally within the community. Some of our products in the past have been berries, potatoes and herbs. We have also focused on important issues such as winter and how our local businesses and farms adapt to their environment during the winter and different ways our local farms use and conserve water. You can check out photos from past sessions to explore the different topics we have covered and see the children interacting and communicating.
Field trips and guest speakers are a crucial part of the program. We have several partnerships with local farms within the area. The children learn about the different products that grow on the farm, the farms conservation efforts, and how important farming is to our community. Other guest speakers have been local chefs, farmers, and business people. They share their professions and how important communication is within their job.
Each student is given a journal or “recipe book” where they write their reflection of the activity or guest speaker’s presentation. We also write stories and poems related to the different topics of study. The children enjoy writing and sharing their work with the group. You can see the confidence grow within the children as the program progresses throughout the year. Our next program begins on September 19th. We look forward to an exciting year of learning, communicating and exploring our community!
Stop back to read all about Read a Recipe for Literacy and other great information from Julie.