The 2011-12 C.L.A.S.S. program is in full swing.
Our PS, MS, and US students have continued their conversations on the C.L.A.S.S. Ning and the Global Connections & Exchange (GCE) Ning with students at the all-girls Bibi Aisha School and the all-boys Wazeer Mohamad Gull Kahn School in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, sponsored by the State Department’s Bureau of Education. Recent conversations have involved how to decrease hatred and ignorance and how to increase communication and education in both of our countries, with discussions initiated by Mckinley Leinweber (PS), Bennett Reinhardt (MS), and Andrew Herndon (US) drumming up all kinds of interesting and gracious responses. They learned, too, that Bibi Aisha has their own school garden–it’s beautiful–that is tended by the students, families, and staff. They have many questions about how the Afghan students make their garden grow; perhaps we can all learn something. Finally, because there are few better ways to gather people (literally and metaphorically) around a table than food, C.L.A.S.S. students joined in on a GCE conversation about favorite foods and at our last meeting were surprised with crockpots and tupperwares filled with chapli kababs, kabuli pilao, salaata, and shir beren prepared by their teachers. Everyone’s bellies were filled with new flavors and best of all, a new experience.
In January, C.L.A.S.S. gathered on a Thursday afternoon to create bowls for the upcoming Empty Bowls fundraiser. They were joined by over twenty US students on a Friday afternoon who created stunning bowls, large and small. The event will feature soups prepared by local restaurants served in handmade ceramic bowls like ours. C.L.A.S.S. students will be contributing about 15 gallons of soup and will be helping to staff the event. They hope to see you there: purchase one of their bowls and get your fill of soup! The meal will be hosted on March 5, 2012, at the Racine Masonic Center. Meal times are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is $15 (bowl and soup).
In February, C.L.A.S.S. students will not only be preparing and cooking butternut squash soup, beef and mushroom barley soup, and white chili in the Prairie kitchen, but will be giving an afternoon of their time to help out at the Racine County Food Bank again. The students were practically begging in the fall to take them back there to volunteer. However, what is most exciting–and new for us at Prairie–is that on the evening of Friday, February 24, our students and the students at Bibi Aisha will be Skyping. Prairie students will be staying late at school, but the Afghan students will be getting up very early on a Saturday morning. But both groups of students are looking forward to the live, face-to-face dialogue.
What better way to learn about another human being than to look them in the eye and listen to their voice. Or experience their food. Or make food for them.
The next C.L.A.S.S. endeavor will be to produce a cookbook filled with special recipes and stories from our Prairie community. Proceeds will go toward the expansion and maintenance of our Giving Garden. We still have much to plan, but if you think you might be interested in contributing to this cookbook (either with a recipe, a story, or a resource), please click here to let our students know how to contact you. Thank you!
Special thanks goes to Cathy McCombs, Karen Fairbanks, and Klay Shannon for their kiln, kitchen, and “Klay”-tech support (wouldn’t be an alliteration without the “Klay”!).