Food has a way of bringing people together and the recipe for Alphabet Soup is simple to follow. The idea is to gather caregivers and their children together from across the community to share in the preparation and enjoyment of a meal.
The parents learn skills that will enable them to actively engage their children in learning about food and nutrition by trying new and interesting recipes together at home.
“We want parents to be active partners in their children’s learning and development,” said Kam Hollihn, Alphabet Soup coordinator for the West Boundary. Hollihn works under the banner of the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL).
One week they made aloo tikkis (curried potato patties) served with mint chutney and yogurt. “Aloo tikkis is a very popular street food in northern India,” Kam explained.
Kam said the Alphabet Soup program offers much more than a delicious meal. It provides an opportunity to develop other important abilities as well, such as social skills, math literacy, general literacy, fine motor skills and of course a sense of responsibility and cooperation. The program begins with a Mother Goose singing and rhyming session followed by cooking and dining together and then concludes with an arts and crafts centre or a story.
The local CAP-C contract is managed by the Rock Creek Community Medical Society and is coordinated by Angela Kitchen. CAP-C is a Canada- wide initiative whose mandate is to bring families of children together to help them with the challenges of parenting and rural life. “Our goal is to work together to have fun while building a better community for all families,” Kitchen said.
CAP-C will continue to meet each Friday through June from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the basement of the Rock Creek Medical Clinic.