Eau Claire (WQOW) - Mix in one part family, another part food, and you have a recipe for success in and out of the classroom. Eau Claire's Prairie Ridge Early Learning School recently received a Tools for Schools grant to buy crockpots.
Inside the classroom, kids are sharpening their culinary skills, even if it is as simple as learning how to cut an apple.
Lisa Severson, a teacher at Prairie Ridge, says, "They're used to, you get it in the grocery store, and it's in a jar. How do you make it? So it's giving them a real world connection of where does this come from."
And the crockpot creations aren't just limited to the classroom. Severson says, "The parents are their first and best teacher." This year, all 19 families were given a new crockpot and some simple recipes.
Morgan Clayton, who has a child in the classroom, says, "Before we did the crockpot cooking with Violet (her daughter), a lot of it was stay away from the pan, stay away from the oven. That's hot, don't touch this. With the crockpot I don't have to worry about that."
The teachers know many of the families are struggling to put food on the table. "They might be living in a hotel or something like that where they might not have a stove, so this is something where they can cook a meal even if they don't have a stove," explains Severson.
Clayton says, "My husband and I are low income, food stamps, food pantry, the whole nine yards. Food gets short in our house so it makes it easy when you've got a bunch of little stuff and you don't know how to put it together. And the crockpot makes it easy because you can put it together and then you have a meal you can eat off of for a couple of days."
And with full stomachs to help focus, these students will be reading these recipes just as soon as they learn their ABC's.
The classroom purchased 26 crockpots with the grant. The extras will go to family services and be given to families in need. Tools for Schools is a partnership between Royal Credit Union and Eau Claire's own news 18. That partnership is growing, with the addition of Fired Up Pizza. Because of that, the grant is also growing, to $500 a month.
If you'd like to apply, click here.
Eau Claire (WQOW) - 3-year-old students at Prairie Ridge Early Learning School in Eau Claire are putting their reading, math and motor skills to the test by cooking up crockpot creations. Tonight on WQOW News 18, we'll tell you how our Tools for Schools program is helping this lesson reach far beyond the classroom!