Baking, Community Service Extracurricular Idea

At our large high school, there was a Home Ec Club that baked for the preschool next door but if that isn’t possible, then try this:
We had two large special needs (SPN) classes that had full kitchens. We had student assistants who had this class listed on their schedule, and came in every class period and worked socially with the students, but they also helped them with basic Home Ec skills.

They played games, helped with homework, conversed and made the SPN students feel socially accepted. The great thing about the student assistants is that it was an extremely popular program. We had too many student volunteers who wanted to be assistants, but were limited by the sheer numbers of students who wanted to be chosen in the lottery for those class periods every quarter. During lunch, the classrooms were opened up to anyone who wanted to eat lunch and play board games with the kids. They had access to microwaves, refrigerators, ovens and large tables to socialize and eat lunch. We often had to close the doors because we had too many student volunteers.

One of the tasks for the quarterly assistants was to accompany the special needs students to take weekly orders from staff (on Tuesdays) for whatever was being cooked/baked that week for sale. They used the cash to go to the movies, bowling alleys, miniature golf, etc.

The student assistants would help the SP needs students create “order forms” on the computer with the week’s sale item selections. They would then accompany the special needs students, with the order forms, to the staff room to help answer any questions. Delivery day was on Fridays, so the student assistants would help to bake/cook. They baked a LOT because everyone had a sweet tooth! One year they made Taffy! What a mess! They did bake breads-muffins, cupcakes, brownies, cream puffs (very popular) snickerdoodle, donuts (also popular), made flour tortillas/chips, guacamole, nacho cheese, “costco” hot dogs and simple salads.

So if you school has a similar program, you would be doing a lot of baking and is was considered a great EC because all of the rehab professions (OT’s PT’s, Speech, Vision, Hearing specialists) would write up letters of recommendation. The parents loved the program.

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Some, not most, of our local food banks except homemade items. We do a weekly pre-packed lunch service where everything is homemade. After awhile, they let us bring plates of cookies or cake for recipients. It is very popular.

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I don’t think your baking has to have commercial, social or financial benefits. I think working on your baking skills is enough, honestly. No different from making jewelry, art, music. Baking is an art! If you can take classes or find a mentor or expand your skills there is plenty to do within the baking EC to develop and grow without any charity, award or profit. IF those other things happen naturally, fine, but not need. Just continue to enjoy baking. And it IS an EC even if you are just doing it at home by yourself. (Take photos!)

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yes photos and whatever you do… BLOG about it and get those pics on Insta. Colleges will check for consistency and improvement (like anything else) and they will check your socials. And by all means take your baked goodies to your college fairs, interviews, etc. It’s who you are so go for it (at least that’s what I would do… )
Good luck!
ps- the Thomas Keller gluten-free flour is amazing. Can’t tell the difference. AND try to get an ‘internship’ at a bakery, preferably someone well known in your town.

100% agree with this. No need to artificially jam baking into a “nonprofit” or whatever box. If it is important to you, would suggest you write about it. One of my sons was a news junkie, reading the usual outlets, plus the bbc, al jazeera etc. Nothing organized about it at all. He wrote about his passion for current events and how he loved seeing how they impacted markets, which was why he was interested in business.

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