A little creativity translates to high interest fun
No matter what the activity, a little imagination goes a long way. The after school teachers at Tiny Chefs learned the hard way that they need to be creative when using kale or super healthy foods. They learned that kids expect the “fun stuff,” so at Tiny Chefs, kale is called “curly lettuce,” for example, to ensure student engagement and excited interest. The result? Kids are now cooking with healthy ingredients, that they’ve never heard of, at home or are being exposed to them in the classroom.
Kids are having fun and don’t want it to end
Some kids are sad when they find out it’s their final class, and Tiny Chefs reassures them that they can easily sign up again. “That’s a good sign,” says Anna Reeves, founder of Tiny Chefs,” it shows they are really enjoying the classes.”
Kids can’t get enough from their sessions and come back.
Repeat business is always a plus, because that means the kids love it so much they want to come back for the next session. Reeves recalls one student that would only take a little tiny bite so that he could take it home, because he was so proud of what he had made. The student wanted to bring it home and share it with his family.
After school teachers with great qualified experience are hired.
It’s important for an after school program to be of great quality. Tiny Chefs hires professionals that either have a teaching background or have worked with kids in the past. Having food knowledge is important, of course. It’s also important that these after school teachers be able to handle a classroom full of children on their own without much direction.
The vendors are also enjoying the experience
“Working closely with Judy [Bunnell, Flex Academies Vice President and COO] firsthand has been wonderful,” says Reeves, when asked about her company’s experience working with Flex Academies. The vendor-partnership runs smoothly when both share the same goals and can coordinate with a consistent mission in mind– to enrich children’s lives.
A great relationship opens up the potential for new activities and new clients
When there is a positive relationship between the schools and their after school teacher-vendors, it helps those vendors to expand their program offerings and their services to new clients. Reeves says that Tiny Chefs would not have made a connection with other schools if it were not for Flex and the expansion of their activities and programs. Having a great relationship and the respect for each other’s work furthers the potential to create new ideas and programs.