SAU No. 5
Superintendent James Morse
36 Coe Drive
Durham, NH 03824
For Immediate Release
Monday, Dec. 4, 2017
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Oyster River Fifth Grade Students Learn about the Importance of Nutrition through Cooking Classes
DURHAM — Principal Jay Richard is pleased to announce that Oyster River Middle School has started a new cooking and nutrition program for its fifth graders.
Led by Oyster River Cooperative School District’s Director of Child Nutrition, Doris Demers and her intern, UNH student Alyssa Lemire, fifth grade students have started to participate in weekly cooking classes that promote healthy eating.
Each class focuses on the New Hampshire Harvest of the Month, a program introduced this year by New Hampshire Farm to School in Durham to promote seasonal eating, healthy diets and the local economy.
The idea for the new cooking program was developed last year when Principal Richards and Demers recognized the need for students to learn the basics of cooking, food safety and nutrition.
“We’re grateful that our students have the opportunity to participate in these classes,” Principal Richard said. “It’s great to see learning go beyond the traditional classroom setting and into the kitchen to help teach students the importance of nutrition and diet.”
Classes typically last around an hour and students are split up into small groups to complete a recipe together. Based on the recipe, students are given jobs such as chopping, measuring or mixing. With each cooking class, Demers and Lemire teach lessons around food and knife safety, kitchen sanitation, cooking techniques and healthy eating habits.
“The students have been loving the cooking classes,” Demers said. “One of my favorite memories was watching a child who insisted he didn’t eat vegetables go up for his second helping of the Broccoli and Cauliflower Ribbon Salad that he made that day. It’s so fun to receive emails from students and parents who have brought the class recipes home to try out with family.”
To accommodate the 172 fifth graders of Oyster River Middle School, Demers and Lemire rotate small groups throughout the program. They meet with one group three times a month before moving onto another group the next month.