Some­thing’s cook­ing in Charles County camps

School sys­tem holds en­rich­ment ac­tiv­i­ties in culi­nary arts, other sub­jects for stu­dents dur­ing sum­mer

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com

Stu­dents are cook­ing up some­thing spe­cial in Charles County Pub­lic Schools’ sum­mer en­rich­ment camps.

“Cook­ing Fa­vorites” was one of 97 sum­mer en­rich­ment camps of­fered by the school sys­tem for six weeks this sum­mer.

“We started out by ask­ing teach­ers what they feel pas­sion­ate about or what in­ter­ests they would like to share with stu­dents, and from there we came up with pro­pos­als,” said Anne Tay­lor, CCPS con­tent spe­cial­ist for gifted and dif­fer­en­ti­ated ser­vices.

Close to 1,000 stu­dents have taken part in the camps, Tay­lor said. Topics also in­clude for­eign lan­guage, math, robotics, creative writ­ing, the “Harry Pot­ter” nov­els and other topics.

“All of them have some type of learn­ing in­volved, whether it be co­op­er­a­tive learn­ing, read­ing strate­gies, in­ter­ac­tive math,” Tay­lor said. “We wanted all of our camps to be

fun, but also en­gag­ing stu­dents in learn­ing.”

“Cook­ing Fa­vorites,” hosted at North Point High School, was geared to­ward fifth through eighth graders wish­ing to learn more about find­ing their way around the kitchen.

The camp, which ran for four weeks, fo­cused on a dif­fer­ent theme each week, such as break­fast, in­ter­na­tional cook­ing and desserts, said cook­ing in­struc­tor Diana Regis.

“We’ve done lessons on us­ing the tools of the kitchen and how to mea­sure, the im­por­tance of fol­low­ing direc­tions, the ab­bre­vi­a­tions used, be­cause cook­ing very much has its own lan­guage,” Regis said.

Tay­lor said many stu­dents signed up for the first week of the cook­ing camp and then reg­is­tered for ad­di­tional weeks.

Regis said she hopes stu­dents will de­velop a love of cook­ing and the abil­ity to pre­pare food at home that is both en­joy­able and nu­tri­tious.

“It also re­in­forces math skills, it re­in­forces sci­ence, be­cause bak­ing is es­sen­tially chem­istry, and they get the in­stant pay­off of, ‘It’s de­li­cious, there­fore I did it cor­rectly’,” Regis said. “It also helps them be­come a lit­tle more self-suf­fi­cient, a lit­tle more in­de­pen­dent, and not eat­ing fast food all the time.”

Is­abella Brown, 11, a sixth grader at Theodore G. Davis Mid­dle School, said she signed up for the camp to learn more about cook­ing.

“I al­ready knew how to cook a lit­tle bit, but I wanted to learn how to cook more things,” Is­abella said. “My fa­vorite part was when we made the pizza. It was re­ally good, and it had cheese stuffed in the crust.”

Bradley Brown, 14, no re­la­tion to Is­abella, is a ris­ing ninth grader who will be at­tend­ing North Point’s culi­nary arts pro­gram in the fall.

“Me and my mom were look­ing for a camp where I could do cook­ing dur­ing the sum­mer, and found out about this,” said Brown, who plans to study culi­nary arts af­ter high school.

Brown reg­is­tered for all four weeks of the camp, and said his fa­vorite part was learn­ing how to cook dif­fer­ent types of food.

“Last week, we made Korean bar­be­cue wings, and I’ve never made some­thing like that be­fore,” Brown said. “All over these four weeks, I’ve learned how to make new things, I’ve learned how to use dif­fer­ent tools, and I’ve tried lots of new things that I don’t think I would have tried.”

STAFF PHOTO BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

Eighth grader Rachel De­gen and sev­enth graders Zamya Flu­cas and Leah Miles spread dough on a cook­ing sheet in the “Cook­ing Fa­vorites” sum­mer en­rich­ment camp last week.

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