A concept created by Elizabeth Swartz and Lucas Shouse to introduce our virtual students to the world of cooking. Our goal is simple; to provide students the opportunity to learn to prepare hearty & healthy meals for themselves and their families. Our first session was open to juniors and seniors in the virtual program.We have 11 students in our first session and hope to have 20 in the next. We include both healthy and hearty recipes. Several ACHS staff members shared their family favorites with us!
Implemented by a partnership between Anderson Community Education, the APEX Academy and the KSU SNAP-Ed assistant for Anderson County, Bearcat Kitchen is a six week program designed to teach students the basics of cooking. Each week students receive a meal kit containing everything they need to prepare a hearty meal. We send home everything students need; fresh ingredients, the weekly recipe, pans, cutting boards, measuring spoons etc. Students receive a video link demonstrating how to prepare the recipe.
Students prepare the meal, share with family and friends then fill out a survey. They send in pictures to show me the fun they are having. At the end of the six week session, students will receive a basket of useful kitchen items. Crockpots, baking sets, mixing bowls, mixers, everything they need to stock their own kitchen. This semester we will offer two six weeks sessions and one three week session in May. That will be my favorite…. We are going to bake!
“I love the memories of my family and friends that flood my mind each time I make a recipe. It makes me smile when someone asks me for a recipe. Sharing my recipes with students, seeing students open up and try something new, that makes me smile. ‘Feeding others feeds my soul” - Elizabeth.
“Elizabeth does a great job working with the students academically, but thrives when it comes to real world situations. We are all happy to serve the community and really hope that more students will take advantage of this great opportunity.”
“I hope to see the Bearcat Kitchen turn into something bigger. Possibly a local cooking show with guest appearances by students, staff, and community members.”
“I really enjoy cooking already and it’s nice to be able to do it for my family once a week, just to give my grandmother a break after she comes home from work. It also gives me something productive to do on my day off from work.”
Hailey Cleveland- Grade 12
“I love the cooking class , wish we could do it everyday I love looking forward to Wednesday’s to see what we cook and love eating the food with my family”
Christine Clifford- Grade 12
“Bearcat Kitchen provides great resources and instructions for cooking good food. It is easy to follow and learn. It also provides a great bonding time between my mother and me as she helps me with some of the cooking or preparing if I need it.”
Christopher Ball- Grade 11
“Bearcat Kitchen is a great way for students to learn basic cooking skills to prepare them for the future. Today, less people are educated on cooking and spend less and less time in the kitchen making home cooked meals. With the Bearcat Kitchen Program, students get the opportunity to make meals at home for themselves and their family with the help of Mrs. Swartz and her meal prep. video. Meal kits start off easy and get progressively harder each week, allowing students to get a better feel of how complex meals are made. Each meal kit gives students a new opportunity to grow their knowledge in the kitchen and gives them useful skills they will use later in life!”
Jacob Kinney- Grade 12