(L-R) Helen Alcorn and her daughter Michelle Alcorn. On Wednesday, March 22, from 10:45 am-11:30 am, students at Hanwell Park Academy will participate in a pizza-making class under the guidance of both Alcorns, and Michelle’s aunt Greta Dixon. Photo: Michelle Alcorn

Hanwell, N.B. – Anglophone West School District (ASD-W) is seizing a unique opportunity to promote intergenerational learning and good nutrition during March’s National Nutrition Month with a livestreamed virtual intergenerational cooking class.

On Wednesday, March 22, from 10:45 am-11:30 am, students at Hanwell Park Academy will participate in a pizza-making class under the guidance of two generations of one family: Michelle Alcorn, host of Atlantic Canada Cooks and president and CEO of Atlantic Canada Language Academy (ACLA), her mother Helen Alcorn, and her aunt Greta Dixon. A student technical team from Fredericton High School will livestream the event, which anyone with a link may view.

Intergenerational learning, a focus area for the province’s Centre of Excellence in Health, is finding its way into classroom curriculum; in this instance, it is centred around hands-on learning and nutrition.

Alcorn’s hour-long Atlantic Canada Cooks livestream started during the Covid-19 pandemic. “She wanted to provide a way for her online students to be immersed in English-language learning. So, she, her mother and her aunt got together in her kitchen and started cooking together and reminiscing,” said District Experiential Learning Coordinator Crystal Roberts. “As a result, her online students could immerse themselves in English-language conversation while learning how to prepare Atlantic Canadian recipes.”

Hanwell Park Academy students using the school’s well-appointed teaching kitchen.

“Food connects people from around the globe at all ages. Some of the best memories are made in the kitchen, with every culture making a ‘grandma dish’ at some point,” said Alcorn. In sharing their storiesand recipes, Alcorn, her mother, and her aunt share their knowledge and hearts.

Hanwell Park Academy Grade 5 French Immersion students are excited about the pizza-making event. Teacher Tracy Thibodeau said the class is gearing up. Since December, the students have engaged in hands-on culinary learning using the new school’s well-appointed kitchen. Focusing on nutritious eating, they recently learned to make healthy smoothies as an alternative to high-sugar, less nutritious options.

Alcorn’s cooking class compliments the learning already taking place at the school. “What we’re doing with this event ties into Nutrition Month,” said Thibodeau. “We’re going to have our lesson on how to make a pizza, and students will be preparing a book about their experience.” The event will also feature a food-safety lesson, a discussion on the history of pizza, online participation by ACLA students and a guest from Morocco, as well as in-person participation by a guest from Colombia.

The virtual intergenerational cooking class will be held on Wednesday, March 22, from 10:45 am-11:30 am, at Hanwell Park Academy, 2331 NB Route 640, Hanwell. Media are invited to attend.

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