Dorsey Attendance Center gets grant for culinary arts kitchen

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DORSEY, MISS. (WCBI) – Students at an Itawamba County school are learning first hand about the farm to table process.

They grow it and cook it and serve it up.

The culinary classroom features two mobile kitchen carts, along with aprons, utensils, and a curriculum. Counselor Noell Vanasselberg applied for the $51,000 grant through the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Mississippi. She says students are learning about nutrition, along with science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

“We talk about measurements, one of the main things you have to have in a recipe, measurements, ingredients we use, following instructions, as well as we try and incorporate lots of creativity in our items, they will have caramel apples, they will decorate those anyway they prefer, we try and include a lot of art,” Vanasselberg said.

Principal Carson Cook says grants are vital for schools that want to provide unique learning opportunities for students.

“We are a Title I school and without the grant, Mrs. Noell wrote, we would not have had the funds to purchase this and give the students the opportunity to see and be involved with culinary arts,” Cook said.

The grant also paid for an outdoor pavilion, and a greenhouse, where students are growing vegetables, fruit, flowers, and herbs, which will eventually be used in the cooking class. Students enjoy the hands-on lessons.

“It’s fun, you get to learn a lot of new stuff about what you can and cannot eat and all cool stuff you can probably do at home,” said sixth grader Quamar Dobson.

“I like it cause all the kids get to cook and we get to grow our own plants,” said sixth grader Caroline Vanasselberg.

The greenhouse and culinary arts classroom will be around for students at Dorsey Attendance Center for years to come. Educators hope it will teach a few lessons and promote a healthy lifestyle.

To help those grant dollars go as far as possible, the principal and school’s custodian built the greenhouse and outdoor pavilion themselves this summer.

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