K-12 Culinary Institute
NC School Nutrition Professionals Participate in Innovative K-12 Culinary Institute
Dare County Schools School Nutrition Director Carol Sykes joined colleagues from around the state for a K-12 Culinary Institute kick-off workshop May 24-25 at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte. The institute, designed to increase the availability of fresh, appealing, nutritious meals at school, is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Professional Standards Training Grant received by the School Nutrition Section of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI).

Nutrient rich food means that students are getting what they need to be able to focus in the classroom. The K-12 Culinary Institute provides tools and information that can be implemented in school kitchens to enhance the learning environment,” said Dr. Lynn Harvey, School Nutrition Section Chief, NCDPI.

The face-to-face and online institute was developed by the NCDPI, School Nutrition Section, and nationally-known Chef Cyndie Story’s K-12 Culinary Team, in order to meet five core objectives:

·         Improve student health, well-being and academic success through nutritious, appealing meals at school,
·         Increase participation in school nutrition programs,
·         Expand capacity of local school nutrition programs to purchase, prepare and serve fresh, locally grown produce, and
·         Increase consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain-rich foods, and provide continuing education opportunities for school nutrition personnel.

The menus and recipes developed for the K-12 Culinary Institute include scratch, convenience, and modified scratch products and techniques; instructions written for production amounts consistent with pack or pan sizes commonly available in school kitchens; and nutritional analysis files for easy import into software programs and adjustments for standardization.

The K-12 Culinary Institute graduates will be culinary specialists who will be prepared to teach other school nutrition professionals at their district and school levels.

Following the kick-off, school nutrition managers can participate in regional workshops this summer. The series of workshops will continue during the summer of 2016.  Dare County Schools plans to host one of these workshops June 28 to 30, at First Flight High School.  Twenty-four school nutrition managers from northeastern NC have signed up to attend.
Carol Sykes commented, "This will be an incredible professional development opportunity for school nutrition managers.  The School Nutrition program in Dare County Schools 
 proud to partner with NCDPI to provide this training event."

The NCDPI, School Nutrition Section is the State Agency (SA) administering the USDA School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, Special Milk Program, After School Snack Program, Seamless Summer Option, and Summer Food Service Program in North Carolina. Additional information regarding school nutrition programs in North Carolina can be found at http://childnutrition.ncpublicschools.gov.

Dare County Schools School Nutrition Director Carol Sykes joined colleagues from around the state in Charlotte at Johnson and Wales University where a preview of the K-12 Culinary Institute was held on May 24-25. Dare County Schools will be hosting one of these workshops June 28 to 30, 2016 at First Flight High School.  Twenty-four school nutrition managers from northeastern NC are planning to attend the June event.