Imagine a family from your high school sharing their traditions with you and teaching you how to prepare a Venezuelan dessert, quesillo. Your school has provided your family with all the ingredients and materials needed for you to participate in the step by step cooking demonstration. Your family is gathered around the Google Meet watching the video, asking questions, and completing each step as it is described. Stories about variations to the dish and holiday traditions are being shared over the call. Questions are being asked about how long it takes for sugar to caramelize and whether the cake is better to eat hot or cold. Laughter fills the Google Meet as a family realizes they forgot to mix in an ingredient or maybe cooked their topping a bit too long. This was the experience of our students, staff and families at the first ACCE Family Cooking night back in October.
ACCE (Academy for College and Career Exploration) a public middle and high school that serves students from all over Baltimore City. One of our top priorities as a school is family engagement. At the first virtual cooking night, we saw students and families share traditions, ask questions of one another, and laugh together. We want to repeat this, but we need funding in order to do so. Our goal is to host at least 2 more virtual cooking nights. We want to provide all the necessary ingredients and materials to at least 30 students and their families for each night. We have several families interested in sharing their traditions--sel roti, pupusas, and dumplings are on the menu! The only barrier we face is funding for the ingredients and supplies. Most of our students and their families do not have the financial means to purchase ingredients for a cooking demonstration, and we never want money to be a barrier to opportunities. We are applying for this grant in hopes that more students and their families can participate in this cultural exchange of traditions, experiences, and food.
Funded by Baltimore, MD (December 2020)