What ingredients make up the perfect strawberry milkshakes?

  • 10 eager Roxhill students ready to learn
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • A dash of Patience
  • 7 whole strawberries
  • 1 container of Safety First
  • ½ cup of vanilla ice cream
  • A pinch of Laughter and Fun

My name is Rubi Diaz and I am proud AmeriCorps member serving at Roxhill Elementary School with City Year Seattle/King County. I can encouragingly report that after three weeks of 2nd and 3rd grade students cooking in my after school club, no accidents have occurred!

Since the beginning October I have had two groups (one meeting Monday and Wednesday the other Tuesday and Thursday) of ten students in my cooking club. Before any of the cooking lessons begin they are expected to wash their hands, follow directions, and put their metaphorical chef hats on. I want to encourage them and teach them about the diversity of food.  At City Year we value the teaching concept “Every Minute Matters,” and my goal thus far with my students has been trying to make our one-hour block both educational and insightful.

(Students wrote their cooking goals for the club and what their favorite foods)

One of my favorite afterschool sessions happened last Thursday when we made strawberry milkshakes. My students were deeply engaged and by the smiles on their faces, and I could tell they were excited to try their blended sweet creation.

(The essential ingredients)

When I asked my little chefs, “how old do you think strawberries have been cultivated in the world?” I received many confused faces. When I shared with them that strawberries in fact had been planted since 500 AD, one of my student’s shouted, “Ms. Rubi! That’s like a million years old - wow!” It’s encouraging to watch these kids have the genuine desire to learn more about the food they eat.

(Kids are actively engaging in the milkshake cooking lesson with corps member Joshua Grant)

In the past three weeks, we have learned how to make mashed potatoes, snicker doodles, nachos, and milkshakes. My elementary school student chefs have learned how to measure accurately, peel potatoes, slice tomatoes, and make cookie dough.

So what’s next on the menu?  Two-dozen delicious vanilla and chocolate cupcakes and pizza. Are you hungry yet?

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