Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

As society across the country is fully immersed in the sights and sounds of summer vacation, those in West Covina, CA might also be hearing our South Hills Academy Eagles fully immersed in the world of summer school.

Among the usual summer school fare of reading and math enrichment classes that are offered, SHA also offers kids a chance to put those reading and math skills to the test in the kitchen, creating healthy and delicious meals and learning some basic cooking skills.

South Hills Academy believes that cooking classes are an important part of a child’s education. I took a “Life Skills” class during my high school experience, and I sometimes found myself dumbfounded at what my other classmates did not know. I had grown up in a family where I was encouraged to help in the kitchen. Some of my classmates needed step-by-step instruction about how to wash dishes, clean countertops, and how to tell the difference between a teaspoon and a tablespoon. My classmates were not alone in this though. In 2010, the Healthy Hungry-Free Kids Act sought to address the rise of childhood obesity. But despite the renewed interest in showing children how to eat well, Family and Consumer Science (FCS) classes, once known as “home economics,” have not gained traction along with that movement.  

Why cooking classes are not as prevalent in schools could be attributed to several things from a hyper-focus on standardized tests, budget cuts making elective courses less of a priority, and even the idea of home economics being considered old-fashioned and even chauvinistic. But at South Hills Academy, our reasons for teaching kids how to cook include teaching our students healthy eating habits and teaching them to plan and make choices so that they are not reliant on fast food and junk food to sustain themselves in the future. Our cooking classes are helping them develop important life skills – for some even career skills. We use our cooking classes to help expand the students’ academic understanding in math and chemistry, to boost their self-esteem, and to help students explore their creativity.

In 1st Corinthians, we are told So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1st Corinthians 10:31). South Hills Academy is committed to teaching our students to glorify God through all of our classes, including in our kitchen.