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Let all who are hungry come and eat...

Junior Chefs

 

“When we first opened beyond 3:30, we provided an after-school snack to our participants. We quickly learned that for many of our students, this snack was actually replacing a meal. Too many had either not had lunch or knew there would be no dinner when they got home. To solve this problem, we created the Junior Chefs Club! Led by a staff member trained in nutrition and cooking, [all participants rotate to regularly] prepare and serve a nutritious meal daily for every beyond 3:30 participant.”

 

  

 

Recently, MAZON Canada board members were invited for a special visit to the ‘beyond 3:30’ program at Lawrence Heights Middle School, a recipient of our grants. Beyond 3:30 is an afterschool program for middle schools with high rates of at-risk students initiated by the Toronto Foundation for Student Success, and has four main components: Homework Club, Sports and Recreation, Specialty Programs (like Book club, Music, Dancing, Drama, and Debate) and the Mazon-funded Junior Chefs’ club, which gives kids the energy to make the most of all the other programming.

 

Data shows that the program works! Students develop social and nutritional skills, grades go up, and they even bring their new nutrition knowledge home to their families.

The kids were thrilled to show off their cooking skills to our visiting Board members and chat one-on-one about the program and their studies. We were inspired by their enthusiasm and the program’s success. As one Board member observed, the program “gives the kids a family” and was deemed by all as “money well-spent.”

 

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