Dance, theater, culinary arts, poetry, and music. At Communiversity our scholars are exposed to all of these activities and more! An afterschool program serving local youth in grades K-8, Communiversity gives children the ability to participate in a variety of enriching educational activities while also being exposed to the world of the arts all in a university setting.
Communiversity is about opening doors for our scholars. Partnering with TABLE and bringing the SnackChef curriculum to the children we serve has given us the opportunity to introduce our students to new foods and new ways of thinking about food. When I first heard about SnackChef four years ago, I knew that we had to have it. SnackChef teaches our youth about nutrition and then gives them the opportunity to make a healthy snack themselves, and gives them the ingredients to recreate that healthy snack at home with their families.
We can always count on the joy and enthusiasm of TABLE’s SnackChef volunteers when they come to Communiversity to interact with our scholars. They not only teach children about nutrition but also about new foods and new ways to prepare them. The SnackChef lessons teach our scholars about new fresh foods they may not have seen before in their homes and schools. SnackChef gets our youth excited about healthy snacks and challenges them to become the best version of themselves by offering experiences and opportunities that they might not have otherwise had access to.
One experience that resonates with me when I think back on the history of TABLE and Communiversity’s fruitful partnership is the day that our scholars met the star ingredient for their snack, the pineapple. One particular student had never seen a real, whole pineapple before. Our young scholars were excited to touch, hold, and take pictures with the pineapple! It was incredible to see the excitement that something as simple as a tropical fruit could bring to these students’ day.
We often take for granted the experience of strolling through the supermarket with the freedom to choose whichever healthy foods and fresh produce we like or want to try. This is what makes the SnackChef program such an important addition to Communiversity’s curriculum. It gives youth the opportunity to learn where their food comes from and to see, touch, and taste foods that they have maybe never even heard of before.
SnackChef also ignites our scholars passion for food. After graduating from SnackChef, they have the opportunity to move on to culinary art classes at Lantern, a renowned local restaurant, to continue learning about new foods and how they are prepared. SnackChef allows our scholars to get excited about trying new, fresh foods and creates the foundation for lifelong healthy eating habits and continued learning.