Posted on 05 May 2015.
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By Mike Marsee
Food has the power to bring people together, and it has done wonders to bond two groups of students at Boyd County High School.
Students in Becky Lynch’s culinary arts class and in Tina Ward’s special education class are enjoying working closely with each other in a program designed to help students in both groups build critical skills.
The Chef Buddies program that brings the two classes together teaches students with moderate to severe disabilities how to operate independently in the kitchen and teaches the culinary arts students how to work with others.
“Chef Buddies has been a wonderful opportunity for all involved to learn from and with one another,” Ward said.
The groups meet together about every two weeks to prepare a dish together. They work in pairs to make a dish according to instructions that Lynch’s students have prepared in advance.
“You see the special needs kids get so excited when come in here, and they’ve made a friend,” Lynch said. “Food is how a lot of people socialize, and they look forward to coming in and seeing their buddy each week. They’re with the same one every week, because they’ve already bonded.”
The two classes began meeting together in January. They prepared pizza bread under Lynch’s direction during their first session together, and after that her students essentially took over the kitchen.
“My students are the instructors when they come in here,” she said. “They all do a visual recipe, with a picture and one line of instruction on one page. All I actually have to do with the seniors is facilitate, make sure they have what they need and make sure they have copies of the recipe.”
Senior Seth Caudill helps Alicia Pope use a knife to cut a hot dog during the Chef Buddies program at Boyd County High School. Looking on are James Justice and Reid Rowsey.
Photo by Amy Wallot, April 10, 2015
And the special needs students have input into what those recipes will be.
“When they leave, they will tell my students what they would like to see the next time, and we tailor a lesson around that,” Lynch said.