Nashua South students cook for the community

Courtesy photo From left, Family and Consumer Science students Kourtnie Hamel and Chasity Louis are two of about 90 students from Nashua High School South who help prepare food for Week of the Young Child at the Merrimack Branch of the YMCA. Hamel and Louis carved watermelons and helped in cooking bacon, ham and muffins.

NASHUA – If one were to walk into Nashua High School South teacher Heather Dubois’ classroom last week, they would have found piles upon piles of bacon, hundreds of muffins, watermelon carvings and other treats.

Dubois and her students spent three days preparing to feed the community as part of Week of the Young Child at the Merrimack Branch of the YMCA.

The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration to recognize early learning, early-age children, their families and the community.

The YMCA began the week with a visit from a children’s musician for Music Monday. There was also Tasty Tuesday, during which children made fruit salad and got a visit from two baby goats. Work Together Wednesday entailed an obstacle course in the gym. On Theatre Thursday, the children were able to watch skits and sing along to songs.

The week wrapped up with a thank you breakfast to the all the families, more than 500 people in total, provided by Nashua High School South Family and Consumer Science students and their teacher, Dubois.

This was the first year the students participated. Dubois said she had all of her classes help in preparation. Collectively, they produced almost 120 pounds of breakfast meat, 1,000 muffins and fruit salad. Some students even got creative and made carvings out of the watermelon.

Aside from benefiting the community, the students also got value out of their assignment. The preparation gave students hands-on experience in the real world, as they had to prepare for an audience.

“Most of the time when you are cooking, you’re doing it for somebody,” Dubois said.

She added this event allowed the students to demonstrate great teamwork.

Dubois said in addition to baking abilities, the students were able to practice their knife skills. Overall, nearly 90 students came together to help prepare for the breakfast. Some students even came in during their E-Block period to help.

“You see where your superstars are because they are coming in to help out during their E-block when they could be doing something else,” Dubois said. “We are trying to develop work ethic with these students.”