South Queens, NY - Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-South Queens) donned an apron, hairnet and rolled up her sleeves with a group of 4th and 5th grade students from P.S. 317 to participate in an afterschool program. Common Threads, a national non-profit, provides children and families cooking and nutrition education to encourage healthy habits that contribute to wellness while also bringing people together to celebrate traditions and culture.
Each student directly participates in making the food. They start by chopping and stirring the ingredients, followed by learning about the country where the food is from, and the program ends by having a healthy meal together. The theme of that week's class was Italy and the students learned not only about the food, but some fun facts about the country and culture. The students were broken up into different stations and mixed the sauce, chopped the onions and carrots, washed the lettuce - taking the lead on most of the critical steps in creating this delicious meal.
“You could see the joy and fun each kid was having,” said Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato. The Assemblywoman had been responsible for bringing the program to P.S. 317 by allocating funding. “This shows why after school activities are critical and the impact it has on students. Education can occur not just in the classroom, but through alternative routes like after school programs and hands-on activities. At such a young age they are learning how to cook healthy options, work together and learn about another culture. These are life skills that will stick with them as they continue to grow and that is truly wonderful to see,” the Assemblywoman said.
“We are so grateful to receive funding from Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato. The impact from those dollars allows us to continue servicing children within the Queens community. Our Cooking Skills and World Cuisine classes provide cooking and nutrition education as life skills that encourage our students to adopt healthier habits,” said Abby Batista, NYC Senior Program Manager for Common Threads. She went on to say that “without the support from Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato, these classes simply would not be possible.”
Common Threads NYC serves all 5 boroughs and is currently in 59 schools/community-based organizations. The Assemblywoman stands committed and continues to work on bringing amazing extracurricular programs to the students of Ozone Park, Howard Beach and across the Rockaway Peninsula.