Chef Maneet Chauhan Dresses to Impress at P.S. 160

When Super Chef Maneet Chauhan comes to your school, you know you are in for a treat–a fruity, tangy, delicious treat you had no idea you could whip up from things sitting at home in your fruit crisper.

Chef Chauhan walks the class through the recipe

Chef Chauhan walks the class through the recipe

For the students at P.S. 160, she created a fresh fruit kebab. Students skewered chopped cantaloupe, honey dew, pineapples, oranges, strawberries and grapes to make their own snacks.

A nearly finished kebab

A nearly finished kebab

Then, explaining that everyone must work together as a team in the kitchen, Chef Chauhan had groups of students create single kebabs for guests in the room.

Working together to make a snack for a guest

Working together to make a snack for a guest

Once the kebabs were done, Chef Chauhan started in on a dressing. She introduced the class to the tastes of mango power and mint powder, which she combined with lemon juice and pomegranate seeds and drizzled over the fruit.

Chef Chauhan dresses student kebabs

Chef Chauhan dresses student kebabs

The trick to getting pomegranate seeds out of the rind? Cut the fruit in half, turn it over, and tap a spoon on the back.

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Students were impressed with how the dressing changed the flavor and texture of the fruit, and left eager to try recreating the snack at home. Thanks, Chef Chauhan!

For more photos of this class with Chef Chauhan, click here.

The Inaugural “Holiday Wish” Coloring Contest

P.S. 73 Winner Bernie Marte with his 4th grade teacher Ms. Reynoso

I’ve been very lucky to not only intern in the CFK office, but to oversee our Brooklyn Tech tutoring program at partner school P.S. 243 in Crown Heights. Brooklyn Tech’s Change Club travels to the Weeksville School every Thursday to provide homework help to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. I get the pleasure of working specifically with a vibrant bunch of 3rd graders and their tutors.

One of my favorite Thursdays was spent helping them visualize and draw their “Holiday Wish.” This season, CFK created a festival coloring contest – the winning image from each school would be featured on our inaugural holiday cards. When I told my students that they would get to draw during their tutoring session, I was met with great enthusiasm.

P.S. 243 Purple Snow-girl

I had great fun observing the students eagerly brainstorming with their tutors. I circled the tables, landing first at Angel’s table. He proudly reviewed his masterpiece with me, “This is my family at our Christmas meal, and that’s my grandpa. I have a big Dominican family.” Over at Nubia and Maya’s table, the best friends were also drawing family scenes, along with elaborate holiday presents. At Anthony and Elvin’s table, they were having their own coloring contest of who could draw the better picture. While Anthony drew a towering electric blue building, Elvin was drawing an impressive Christmas tree with Santa approaching in his sleigh. I spy an artist in the making here. Finally, my personal favorite was Elena’s drawing of a “Purple Snow-girl.” So I have to admit I’m a bit partial to purple, it’s my favorite color. But regardless, who doesn’t like a nice twist on a classic holiday character? As always, I left P.S. 243 with a smile that day.

The holiday coloring contest was an excellent way to begin the new season at our schools. I hope all the kids had as much fun participating as the office did in going through the entries. It was a great way to see quick snapshots of the students through their holiday wishes and their artistic talents. Congratulations to all the winners. Pick up your pack today!100% of proceeds benefit our programs.

HOLIDAY CARD WINNERS

P.S. 243 Artist: Brittany Kennedy, Ms. Davis’ 4th Grade, Age 8
P.S. 15 Artist: Steven Ponce, Mr. Laliberte’s 3rd Grade, Age 8
P.S. 73 Artist: Bernie Marte, Ms. Reynoso’s 4th Grade, Age 10
P.S. 81 Artist: Rogelio Vargas, Ms. Fraser’s 2nd Grade, Age 7
P.S. 160 Artist: Sharon Sukhu, Ms. Reill’s 4th Grade, Age 10

Maloof for Kids 2011

P.S. 160 students at MMC (photo credit: Neftalie Williams)

On Thursday, June 2nd, Maloof Skateboarding held their second annual Maloof Money Cup (MMC) competition in New York City and Change for Kids didn’t pass up another opportunity to hang out with the pros. For those of you unfamiliar with MMC, it is the world’s greatest skateboarding event, a premier showcase for amateur and professional skateboarding founded by Joe and Gavin Maloof, whose family owns the Sacramento Kings NBA franchise and the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Thursday morning, over a hundred fourth and fifth graders from CFK partner school P.S. 160 (Queens) were invited to the skate park as a reward for exemplary behavior and good citizenship.

The kids were showered with swag from Maloof Money Cup sponsors including sunglasses, stickers and water bottles from Vans and Vitamin Water. The students were then given the opportunity to ask questions and meet with the professionals. Head of Maloof Money Cup, Mark Waters, offerd the kids valuable advice “One of the important things about skateboarding, or any other sport, is that part of learning is failing. When you fall, or when you fail, it’s about having the ability to pick yourself up and get back on your skateboard.” Continue reading

The Dinosaurs Were Enormous (and other useful lessons)

On a good day, P.S. 160 in Jamaica, Queens, is about 30 minutes from the American Museum of Natural History–that’s if there’s no traffic, no construction and none of the bizarre incidents that so often hinder movement above ground in the greater NYC area. In other words, on every day except Sunday, P.S. 160 is more than an hour from the AMNH. This little geographical fact, in tandem with the almost Byzantine complexity of school bus schedules, means that it is logistically impossible for our students to visit one of the world’s premier natural history collections via public transportation–even when the school is able to score the tickets. This also means that the vast majority of the students at 160 have never visited the AMNH at all.

Fourth Graders enjoy the AMNH dinosaur exhibit

Fortunately, we were able to get in touch with our good friends over at Varsity Bus, who stepped in last month (yes, we are just recovering from the holidays) and generously shuttled all the fourth-grade students off to everyone’s favorite Manhattan museum. The primary goal of the visit was to get students up close and personal with the Native American – Eastern Woodlands Exhibit, in conjunction with that particular section of the required NYS curriculum. As you might expect, though, it was the dinosaurs that caught everyone’s attention.

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Little Readers: A Roundup from the Pearson ABC Book Days

A massive dose of adorable, the Pearson ABC Book Days bring together pre-Kindergarten students and their parents to celebrate family reading. CFK volunteers help students put together their very own personalized ABC book, then send the whole family home with a Penguin Classic book of their choice. Check out a selection of photos from this year’s program (and consider joining us next year!), as we get the littlest CFK students on the road to reading.

CFK Celebrity Sighting Number Two!

Joe Maloof is mobbed by a crowd of adoring basketball players

Big news from our partner school in Queens. About 200 students, teachers and chaperones from P.S. 160 came out on a hot June day to meet their newest and very coolest neighbor—Joe Maloof, owner of the Sacramento Kings and Palm Casino in Las Vegas. Students spent the day exploring Maloof’s brand new skate park in Flushing Meadows, watching a number of demonstrations from top-skateboarder Billy Rohan, and learning a little about fitness and healthy lifestyles.

After loading the kids with loot from Vans and Vitamin Water, Mr. Maloof was also kind enough to sign dozens of signatures and to take a few minutes to visit personally with the school’s basketball team. If the thank-you notes we received are any indication, we think he’s made 200 new friends for life.

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