For the 19 fourth and fifth grade students he met in November, Chef Abraham Salum’s visit was a highlight of the year. Whipping together basic ingredients such as fruit, yogurt and cookies into tasty bites, he got everyone involved in a fun, hands-on cooking lesson. Students left excited to try making their own snacks at home, and with new ideas about what it’s like to be a professional chef.
Chef Salum, who visited initially to meet the kids he would be representing at the Super Chefs event, was equally taken with the P.S. 81 students. He was eager to continue his relationship with them and collaborated with P.S. 81 staff to find a way to return. Later this month he will be back...virtually, via Skype.
In his next lesson, Salum will teach students about cooking from recipes. In addition, Salum is also preparing special packages for each of the 19 students he’s worked with to keep them cooking after the lesson is over. Teachers will surprise students with the gifts during the Skype session.
Communicating through Skype will expose students to a 21st century technology they are largely unfamiliar with. Experience with new technology is a key focus of P.S. 81’s curricular goals, and engaging with Chef Salum via Skype makes real and personal an otherwise abstract tool.
"In our school population, it is very rare that our children interact personally with professionals such as Chef Salum," said Ms. Jackson, lead teacher with Salum’s group of students. "His visit opened up a window of possibilities for them that they may have never considered. And an opportunity to Skype with him, brings a level of exposure that is often taken for granted because for many of us it is the norm. However, for these children, technology and practiicing 21st century skillls is a privilege."
Another focus of the P.S. 81 curriculum is listening comprehension. Seeing a fun way to get students to practice their listening skills, teachers have asked Chef Salum to read a recipe aloud at the end of his lesson. Students will then write down the recipe and whoever’s copy is the most accurate will receive the recipe’s ingredients so that he or she may cook the dish at home.
Our tremendous thanks to Chef Salum for helping to bring these essential lessons in technology, listening and cooking to life for the students at P.S. 81. In all ways, we know it will be a hit with these young Chef Salum fans.