After-school program offers Pivik students French food for thought
Molly Giles and Abigail Haerr were looking for something different to do after school.
When they heard about the “Kids in the Kitchen” program at Pivik Elementary School, the two sixth-graders eagerly registered.
The no-bake cooking class, complete with kid-friendly French recipes, was taught each Wednesday in November by Oblock Junior High School French teacher Courtney Mendenhall.
“We'd like to travel together to France,” said Molly, 11, of Plum.
Mendenhall taught the children about French cuisine, combined with a lesson in French language and culture during the PTA-sponsored program.
“One of the Pivik PTA's purposes is for boys and girls to develop healthy life skills with cooking in a no-bake environment,” said Pivik PTA President Francine Nichols.
“This class specializes in French culture, cuisine and language. The children learn all about good and healthy food, good nutrition and the cooking skills to bring them together.
The Pivik PTA has 417 members. There are 549 Pivik students, Nichols said.
In last week's class, Mendenhall instructed 18 students, who donned aprons, on making breakfast parfaits that contained cereal, blueberries, strawberries and yogurt; dessert parfaits of chocolate pudding and raspberries; and ‘faux frites,' or french fries.
The children had the options of eating the food during the class or taking it home.
“ ‘Parfait' in French means perfect or almost perfect,” Mendenhall told the children.
“When I grade French tests at Oblock, and the students get almost all the answers correct, I write, ‘Parfait.'”
Kathie Haerr, 39, Abigail's mother, said she was pleased her daughter was getting exposed to a foreign language that she could opt to study in junior high.
“They will recognize the French words they are learning,” Kathie Haerr said.
Nathan Mienke, 8, a second-grader, said he enjoys learning about a foreign country.
“And I like making (food),” he said.
Don Klinsky's daughter, Allison, 10, a fifth-grader, was looking for some introductory cooking lessons.
“She wants to feel comfortable in the kitchen without mom and dad,” said Klinsky, 45.
“I thought it would be cool,” Allison said.
Mendenhall said exposing elementary-age children to a foreign language is beneficial.
“Their brains are sponges,” she said.
Mendenhall said the students followed directions well.
“They had a good attitude and were excited,” she said.
Mendenhall aims to reconnect with the students when they get to Oblock Junior High.
“I hope it (the program) gets them excited about learning a foreign language and culture,” she said.
Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Added fee would eliminate property tax increase in Plum
- Plum School District to beef up emergency training
- Life-skills classroom could keep special-education students in Plum