For six weeks this spring the Gathering Place and kitchen of St. Paul’s United Church echoed with the happy sounds of approximately 20 children from Percy Centennial Public school. The program, a partnership between the Abundance Project, the Early Years Program of the Northumberland YMCA and the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge Health Unit offered these young people a variety of activities.

As with all Abundance Project initiatives, a critical aspect of this program was to provide the participants with healthy eating choices and the opportunity to learn basic kitchen skills. Every week, the participants had 20 to 30 minutes of kitchen time to prepare things like fruit kabobs, muffins, and granola bars.

While not learning new kitchen skills, the participants took part in craft activities and various physical activities including yoga and social games.

Each week a special story was selected and read with the group which tied into the kitchen activity. For the final week, the kids were read Stone Soup, and then went on to assist in the preparation of a vegetable soup to be served to their parents and family the final evening.

Judging by the enthusiastic response of participants and parents, it is most likely that an After School program will run again next school year.