Erie Community College faculty and staff hosted more than 60 students from Buffalo’s Waterfront Elementary for its first edition of “Chef and Child,” a culinary, arts and education-focused event at the ECC Learning Garden at Canalside on October 18th.
Sponsored by the American Culinary Federation and led by ECC’s Culinary Arts Program instructors and students, the morning event featured six different stations—focused on arts and crafts, cooking, fitness, and reading—for child attendees to learn about the importance of a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their families. And whether through instruction on plant life or constructing seasonal fruit skewers with pumpkins, ECC community members connected with young students at a time when their dietary habits are forming.
The event was yet another element of the college’s robust applied learning initiative, as well as the latest health-focused service learning programing conducted by ECC for Waterfront Elementary at the college’s Canalside-set Learning Garden, which opened to students and the public in June 2015. Since then, ECC has used the garden to not only teach our and visiting students have used the downtown expanse to learn about the integral relationship between people, land and food, as well as the biological, chemical and physical need for green spaces. The garden features several different types of plant propagation methods for organic soil-based growing systems.
Sarah Petrak is a student assistant with the Office of Communications and New Media for SUNY System Administration. She is a studying Public Policy at the University at Albany.