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Adams County Arts Council Invites Young Chefs to Connect with Family and Friends

The Adams County Arts Council is offering a new after-school program that gives students an opportunity to explore the culinary arts with their families from the comfort of their own homes. The Kids Dinner Club Zoom class will run on six Wednesday evenings from 5 to 6:30 p.m. beginning April 14. Scholarships and supplementary groceries are available for eligible families who complete a scholarship application. 

Since 2011, ACAC’s Eat Smart, Play Hard (ESPH) program has provided area youth from pre-K to high school with high-quality, hands-on, culinary arts, nutrition, and movement education, with emphasis on reaching those from low-to-moderate-income households. Originally developed in 2011 in response to the county-wide youth obesity epidemic, the Kids Dinner Club is one of ESPH’s responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, which shifted ACAC’s mode of instruction to a virtual platform and highlighted issues of food insecurity and heightened youth anxiety in Adams County. To address these issues and support children and their families, ACAC provides participating students with recipes, shopping lists, and a list of necessary kitchen supplies prior to each class meeting. Scholarship students can pick up supplementary grocery packages containing fresh produce ingredients for the day’s class at their schools. 

J’Amy Graham Thomas, a popular culinary arts instructor at ACAC, has been contracted to teach the class, which was piloted at the Vida Charter School in October 2020 and January 2021 and will be offered to the public this spring and in four more six-week sessions across the 2021-22 school year. During each class meeting, Thomas guides students through kitchen safety, nutrition information pertaining to the week’s lesson, and preparation of a meal. By the end of each class, students have prepared a healthy, well-balanced meal they can share with their families. Kids Dinner Club students acquire fundamental life skills they will carry with them for a lifetime, while also benefitting from safe social connections and a creative outlet, both of which are so important in their journey to adulthood, and are primary goals for the Eat Smart, Play Hard program.

For more information, to register, or to apply for a scholarship for the Kids Dinner Club, visit www.adamsarts.org or call (717) 334-5006. Registration for the class will be open until April 5.

The Adams County Arts Council’s mission is to cultivate an arts-rich community.

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