As you may have spied in your box newsletter last week, we’re proud to be partnering with the lovely folks at Cook School as our educational focus for 2019. They’re embarking on an exciting project bringing cooking skills, nutrition and exercise in primary schools across the UK.
Cook School and Abel & Cole
Who are Cook School?
Founded by children’s cookbook author and recipe writer Amanda Grant, Cook School was set up as a not-for-profit social enterprise with a mission to inspire children to cook, eat a balanced diet and teach them the importance of healthy eating in after school clubs and school-wide takeover sessions. Even though it has started recently, already over 3,000 children have participated in Cook School classes and this number is growing every week. Evidence shows that the classes have had an impact on the children’s knowledge of healthy foods, nutrition and also their behaviour and diet. Children were also more likely to try new foods. Research also shows a change in behaviour towards the different types of fruit & veg consumed as well as a marked increase in the number of these foods eaten every day. Abel & Cole’s Good Food Fund has supported Cook School's fundraising efforts and also has raised awareness for how schools can raise money for everything from gym kits to playground equipment just by doing their weekly shop at Abel & Cole.
Where does sport come in?
This school term, Cook School are coming together with another social enterprise Sports for Schools, combining their kitchen-knowhow with activities to get children active and thinking about fitness. Sports for Schools brings the country’s top athletes into primary schools to run fun fitness circuits and inspire children (and teachers!) to take up sport and lead a healthy life. Their mission? To put physical activity and fitness on a par with numeracy and literacy in primary schools across the UK. The scheme has inspired over 2 million children and raised over £3 million for sports equipment for schools to date, whilst supporting athletes with funds to help in their training or transition out of elite sport.
Amanda Grant of Cook School adds “Partnering early on with Abel & Cole helped us subsidise the class cost by providing organic, seasonal ingredients for the children to cook with. Abel & Cole have also joined us at festivals where we've run free hands on workshops for children. Making fresh pasta and pesto from scratch has been a big hit! We’re really excited to be working alongside Sports for Schools now too.
With the increasing obesity crisis among very young children, 20% of 11-year-olds nationally are classified as obese (The Times, May 2018), we felt a partnership with Sports for Schools would help us reach more children with our healthy eating message. By collaborating with the athletes who present the Sports for Schools events in school to re-create their healthy eating recipes for children to take home and make themselves learning new skills, we can further achieve our mission outside the classroom. The Sports for Schools all-day all-pupil activities in primary schools are remembered long beyond the athletes visit; essentially an Olympic athlete hosts a fitness circuit for all children and teachers throughout the day, followed by a special assembly where they talk about their careers, the importance of being active and how they got into their sport. This term we’re hoping to both educate and inspire the 2,400 children we’ll be visiting.”
Want to learn more about Sports for Schools? To find get further details, or request a visit to your child’s school, get in touch here. To bring more kitchen-confidence into you after school clubs, you can also drop Cook School a line here.