where it all starts

Goal4Kids at P.S. 171 in East Harlem has been a consistent place in my life since my arrival in New York (the second time around).  What we do there is pretty simple yet one of the most important and rewarding afternoons that I spend monthly.  I volunteer in the healthy lifestyles component of their after school enrichment program  by doing cooking classes with the kids.  Over the years I have gotten to know many of the students well and have watched them go from barely able to reach the counter to young adults working hard on their applications to Bronx Science and the like.  

The formula is straightforward.

We cook a meal together from start to finish and while the last elements are being completed a few students set a table in the cafeteria. Sporks please!  One thing our meals are never without? Homemade dessert.  I have always referred to dessert as a sometimes food with the students.  This is a great way to frame treats, adults and children alike.

Cooking with kids and sitting down and sharing a meal together should be done in more schools than just P.S. 171.  

This should be done in places where children face adversity as well as where children have every opportunity available to them.  In schools and in homes, children understanding how to feed themselves real food, made with love, is a essential activity that I hope to spread through Clean Eats | Dirty Desserts.

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