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October 4, 2011

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October 4, 2011

Recipe for Success - what can I say about it. When I first came to Mac Gregor Elementary and heard of this organization, I had no ideal what it was or what to expect. When I began to get familiar with the components, I was still a bit hesitant because as a teacher I thought it would take too much time from instruction. But I was so wrong. Recipe for Success has actually added to the curriculum. The students are able to learn first hand all that goes on before the food is even served on their plates. And needless to say, the healthy choice of cooking will stay with the students for a lifetime. The volunteers and staff are informative, professional and friendly. I am very fortunate to be at a school that offers this wonderful program.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006

October 3, 2011

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October 3, 2011

I recently joined the Board of Recipe for Success. I was introduced to RFS through another charitable organization that I am associated with, that supports small, but growing, local charities focused on helping children. From my first encounter, I knew that RFS had created a unique model that could have a dramatically positive impact on children. Two of my passions are preventative healthcare and education - both of which are the focus of RFS. I believe through my experience that nutrition is the most critical component of holistically focused healthcare, and is often not give appropriate attention. Proper nutrition can dramatically improve lives - not just through the reduction of disease and illness, but also in less obvious ways like producing higher energy levels, greater attention in school and work, etc. Providing children with both the understanding of proper nutrition, and also (critically) the tools to take action to improve their lives through gardening, cooking, and making the right dietary decisions, is what makes RFS such an impactful organization.
October 1, 2011

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October 1, 2011

Recipe for Success is an excellent opportunity for a new generation to form new eating habits. The children are still excited after four years of having Recipe for Success on campus. The concept has been steadily growing and improving. The children are always ready to learn to grow and prepare their own food. The nutritional information that they are gathering is life-changing and they don't even realize it. Not only does the program reach into the school and help students, it inadvertently reaches into the homes and informs parents through the children. There are many parents who have joined the Wellness Meetings sponsored by the group. they have also gathered a lot of nutritional information. I believe Receipe for Success is a great method of helping the next generation ward off obesity and its link to medical problems.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

September 30, 2011

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September 30, 2011

Recipe for Success is an amazing program full of wonderful teachers and helpers! I am affiiated with them because they serve the school, MacGregor Elementary, which I work at. They have literally waved the magic wand through their work the last few years and changed the culture of our school with respect to healthy living and healthy choices. All children have blossomed with the garden. THey have been exposed to planting, nurturing, cultivating, cooking, and then consuming many healthy things from the garden. In doing so, they also are blessed with lessons in patience, care, hard work, and of course the science, math, and academics in all. When they learn to care for something else, it impacts them for life. We know have kids who prefer green beans to candy . . . and that is amazing!
In the kitchen, it is a whole new world for our kids too! They are exposed to a variety of food - many are like me - I would not have ordered that item off of the menu. But after being exposed to it, I would. So the REcipe for Success Program changes kids for life - producing healthier eaters who are much more aware of the environment. Many of the kids also get the experience of taking produce to market.
The volunteers and teachers all have loads of patience, love, and passion for what they are doing. And this is obvious after one trip to the kitchen or garden. EVERY CHILD gardens, including our 3 and 4 year old students. It is amazing how Recipe for SUccess has transformed our school, from the youngest 3 year old student to our most senior staff. They are supercalifragilisticexpealidocious!

Laura Allen
September 30, 2011

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September 30, 2011

After working in after-school programs myself as a bilingual Spanish teacher and feeling dismayed by curriculum limitations, I was seriously impressed by the versatility and dynamic structure of RFS classes. In RFS classes, learning to cook a simple recipe becomes so much more than that by engaging and challenging students to work well in groups, think critically about math and science (fractions, ratios, mixtures, etc), and to explore nutrition in a fun and meaningful way. One of my favorite volunteer moments happened one afternoon while I was cleaning up dishes after class. Our last student of the day had returned to class with his mother because he had forgotten to pick up a copy of the day's recipe. Typically a quieter student, he suddenly burst to life recounting the day's lesson to his mother including details of the ingredients, what purposes they served, and how to replicate the meal with other similar ingredients. Seeing my astonishment, the mother proceeded to tell me that her son, as a result of RFS, had taken to helping her in the kitchen both with meal planning and actually cooking their meals. What once was a simple class time activity was becoming a passion for this child as well as a bonding experience for him and his mother.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

September 28, 2011

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September 28, 2011

Whittier Elementary has started the second year working with Recipe for Success. Our first year it began as a small after school program serving 20 students. The program was such a huge success that we have expanded it to five days a week from 4:00-6:00 serving Kindergarten through Third grade students. It is the most popular club in our after school program. The Chefs are amazing! Not only do they get students involved in cooking they teach them the importance of eating health and making good choice. The cooking classes also maintain two garden beds where they use the herbs that they grow. Our community is 98% with an average of 60% second language learners. I have been so impressed with the English Language development that has occurred through cooking. Our students are engaged, working cooperatively with their classmates, and having a ton of fun. Recipe for Success plays a huge part in the vision of the campus. I am thrilled to work with them.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The results are evident in all areas of the school. I observe the conversations in the hallways. I have parents contacting me to find out about the cooking class. I have middle school students coming back to say they wish they had the same experience at the middle school level. I see the students transfering the information from the cooking classes to their math and reading classes. But most of all I see the students engaged in hands on practical learning.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

There is nothing I would change. They are an amazing organization that I am thrilled to be working with.

September 28, 2011

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September 28, 2011

Recipe for Success is a wonderful organization. I am glad that we are partnering with them to bring a healthier way of thinking about food to our school. Last year we partnered with Recipe for Success to help us build our school/community garden and to implement their "seed to plate" program at our school. The call of teaching our students, staff and parents healthy eating alternatives was answered by the collaboration with Recipe for Success. In a little over a year, students have grown vegetables with their own hands, shared them with families and in the Recipe for Success after-school program, some students have learned to cook and eat more vegetables and fruit. For some students, many of the vegetables they have cooked, they have never eaten before or even seen before. Recipe for Success has even partnered with us to judge our school's annual Chili Cook-Off and introduced the career of chef to our students during Career Day. Our students and staff have been included in Recipe for Success's wonderful contests that encourage one to think about the choices they are making concerning the nourishment of their body. The testament to their great work is when we started Recipe for Success this year, the waiting list for the membership has more than doubled our capacity level. I even talked with a disappointed parent yesterday because her student is still on the waiting list. I even have students stop by my office daily to see if a space has become available. If there is one thing I could change about Recipe for Success (and we are trying to find a way for next semester) is to have more students experience the Recipe for Success after-school program. Currently, we can only host 20 students per semester and we would love to expand that number. The skills and information that the students and staff learn are invaluable. This education inevitable spills over into the families and eventually the community as a whole. Thanks Recipe for Success for a job well done.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the daily interaction with students and staff. I have seen the students and staff grow their own vegetables at our garden (that Recipe for Success helped us build), cook them and share them with family. The huge waiting list is a testament to the impact that the group is having on our students, staff, family and community.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

include more students in the Recipe for Success after-school program.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Quite well

How did you find this group?

through the partnership with CAN DO Houston (Children And Neighbors Defeat Obesity).

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

Thinking more consciously about eating healthier and trying more vegetables.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

September 27, 2011

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September 27, 2011

I love to see the joy in eyes of the kids as they try new foods and learn the techniques to cooking. The classes are very well organized and teach the kids the food groups, reading labels, and the reasons fast food and prepared foods are not good to eat.

They also have a community garden
at the school so the kids can experience growing and eating their crop.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Houston, Texas

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to get more corporations involved to help with the expense of the kitchens and the food.

September 27, 2011

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September 27, 2011

RFS provides a unique opportunity for disadvantaged youth to learn about gardening and cooking with hands on experience with some of the top chefs in Houston. The program is staffed with exceptional foodies who love introducing students to a healthy appreciation of growing, harvesting and preparing nutritious food. There is nothing like it in our area. It is very cool to see young kids who've turned up their noses at green vegetables to get excited about eating their own cooked broccoli. The program is so important to this population who have a steady diet of fast food. The founder is a brilliant marketer who has established a strong support base of people who are concerned about childhood obesity and the value of teaching children to live more healthy lives.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the excited students enjoying their gardening and cooking classes.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand the program to more schools however this would require additional funding.

September 27, 2011

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September 27, 2011

Each time I have the chance to see kids in action in the RFS classroom, I know that Recipe for Success is making a life changing difference in children's lives. To see their faces light up and hands raise to chop, peel, mix and stir is such an enlightening experience and makes you think about how the simple act of cooking can create such happiness. My hope is that the children take these lessons home and ask their parents to interact more with them in the kitchen and really create a family dynamic of togetherness that may not have existed before. You see reluctant kids try all kinds of fruits and veggies that some have never seen before and it is hilarious and inspiring. Recipe for Success classes not only teach children how to garden, cook and eat, but it also teaches them how to share, how to work as a team and how to use their imaginations with healthy, good food.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

witnessing children try something new. Some of the children have never heard of kale, but they try it and actually enjoy it!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

develop a program that teaches older children a healthy way of life through food

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Introduced me to a different way to portray an important message to our youth

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Like I could really make an impact on a child's future

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

Assist our culinary teachers to deliver a cooking class, help maintain gardens, participate in gardening classes with the kids, participate in community outreach programs, assist in the office with projects like photo cataloging, website maintenance, fulfilling internet order of our materials, assist in scheduling volunteers and chefs, help with field trips, shop for class supplies, deliver class supplies, help with special events and many many other activities. Volunteer