NEWPORT — Life skills students at North Country Union High School in Newport are better prepared for independent living thanks to a free nutrition and culinary education series provided by the University of Vermont Extension Community Nutrition Education program.
For six weeks from January to March, Extension Nutrition Educator Katie Black taught adaptive programming to 17 students, ages 15-18, who demonstrate a range of abilities and social and/or sensory preferences.
The program was delivered through the newly established North Country Supervisory Union’s Family Resource Center, which supports learning opportunities for students and community members that address employment, financial literacy, positive psychology, and skill development.
Family Resource Center staff adapted Extension’s educational materials to meet these students’ needs, including creating recipe booklets with picture-based directions and adaptive kitchen equipment to make learning more accessible.
The students learned measuring and knife skills, food safety, ways to make healthy choices, and nutritious recipes that they can make on their own at home.
They also received booklets with adaptive recipes and kitchen equipment to take home.
The collaboration was successful in enhancing equitable access to education in the Newport region through hands-on practice and knowledge transfer that promotes students’ self-confidence and gives them skills needed to live independently after graduation.
The program also helped dismantle barriers for addressing equity and social justice through Extension programming in low-resourced and rural regions of Vermont.
This successful collaboration was led by Extension Nutrition Educator Katie Black, NCSU Community Schools Coordinator Samantha Stevens, and NCUHS Special Educator Carrie Lucas, and demonstrates a commitment to promoting access to education and dismantling barriers for addressing equity and social justice.