What Did You Do for Spring Break?

— Written By and last updated by Margaret Green

Terrell Lane Middle School 4-H’ers attend Boston University Cooking Camp

By: Meg Wyatt, Franklin County 4-H Extension Agent

Research shows that people learn and retain more material if they do so by hands-on activities. Franklin County 4-H strives to offer opportunities for youth to do just that, learn-by-doing. Terrell Lane Middle School and Boston University has had a long-standing relationship with the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program. Nancy Shaffer has been an intricate part of this wonderful partnership.

Alternative Spring Breaks (ASB) promotes community service, develops leadership skills, and creates strong bonds among its participants. Since it’s founding in 1988, Boston University student and faculty/staff volunteers spend their spring breaks participating in volunteer work throughout the country addressing issues such as environmental protection, children, affordable housing, hunger, education, HIV/AIDS awareness, and disabilities. Each of the trips is comprised of two coordinators, ten to twelve volunteers, and one faculty/staff chaperone, states the official Boston University ASB site. The Boston University youth are housed with a dedicated family during their weeklong stay. This year the student’s hosts were Dr. and Mrs. Al Sayles from Louisburg. They opened their home and hearts to 11 college students to eat, sleep, and bond during their stay.

Participants from Boston University Alternative Spring Break included: Pooja Desai, Katie Strelitz, Neil Browne, Kendall Hall, Katherine Yau, Kevin Chen, Emily Southard, Devon Flanagan, Kisha Wilson, Sara Smolevitz, and Kathleen Cosman. These youth were from all across the United States representing Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Florida, Vermont, New York, and Oklahoma. Another important person that helped during this week was Laura Aldridge, a student interim with Terrell Lane Middle School.

This year Boston’s spring break and Terrell Lane’s spring break coincided and a scheduled conflict prevented the program from being held at the school. This is where 4-H came into play. The Franklin County Cooperative Extension was able to provide the Annex and kitchen lab for meetings and 4-H provided supplies and some curriculum so that this wonderful program could take place again this year. There were 11 Boston University students from all majors signed up to teach 18 youth from Terrell Lane Middle School the basic techniques for cooking and nutritional meal planning. Not only did youth learn the basic techniques such as how to use a knife and peel potatoes, but were also taught how to plan healthy meals and then cooked those meals for lunch each day. This weeklong cooking camp was great for learning life skills. In addition to being taught how to cook healthy, youth learned how to shop at the grocery store for a large crowd. They used their math skills to calculate and multiply recipes, got physical exercise in each day as they walked to and from the grocery store, and were taught the importance of keeping their cooking area clean.

This was a free weeklong cooking camp for youth in 6th-8th from Terrell Lane Middle School. Terrell Lane Middle School received support for this project from Franklin County United Way, Wake Electric Bright Ideas, and DonorsChoose.org.

 Photo Caption: Boston University Students and Terrell Lane Middle School 4-H’ers

Pictured: Pooja Desai, Katie Strelitz, Neil Browne, Kendall Hall, Katherine Yau, Kevin Chen, Emily Southard, Devon Flanagan, Kisha Wilson, Sara Smolevitz, Kathleen Cosman, Ivan Armas, Malicia Griffin, Amy Berry, Jaquan Moore, Baylee Fowler, Kaitlyn Greene, Kristen House, Aaliyah Rogers, Makenzie Brashares, Hannah Whaley, Diana Potter, Bethany Lee, Brieanna Fragoso, Sarah Sarpong, CJ  Hopkins, Emily Orozco,

Terrell Lane Cooking Class