Nourishing Literacy 2019/2020 Registration Now Open to School Classrooms!

By Shayna M. RSS Fri, October 4, 2019

Nourishing Literacy is the Culinary Literacy Center’s set of programs that connect youth, teachers, and caregivers to the library through educational cooking opportunities. We offer school year and summer programming for youth, intergenerational programs, career development, and teacher trainings.

We are so happy to announce the opening of the 2019/2020 registration for hands-on cooking classes at the Free Library! Preschool through high school groups are invited to participate in programs that link food education to academic learning standards and library skills. These programs take place in the Culinary Literacy Center’s kitchen classroom, in the Parkway Central Library. We will additionally offer limited cooking classes at selected neighborhood libraries for school classrooms beginning in the winter.

A cooking class and an accompanying in-school classroom visit are offered for free to Philadelphia public and charter school classrooms. We currently have three lessons to choose from, modified for each grade level. Teachers are encouraged to select the lesson that is a fit for their class’ needs and schedule. We will do our best to meet teacher requests as much as possible. Modifications with a focus on life skills and accessibility are offered to school groups with special needs.

Better Together focuses on community, roles, and systems. Students practice constructive communication as they contribute toward the completion of a shared goal. Understanding the parts that the students play in the greater whole of their communities, as well as the parts that different foods play in overall wellness are concepts that are explored throughout the cooking activity. Students have the opportunity to learn about the USDA recommended food groups that make up a balanced plate. Better Together is offered in November, 2019 through January, 2020.

Flavor Finders encourages students to keep an open mind about food, place, and people through curiosity, discovery, and non-judgement. Philadelphia neighborhoods are featured as students identify different ingredients and gather information about where these foods can be sourced. Maps, storytelling, and the senses are used as tools for learning more about each other and our environment. Students practice low sodium cooking techniques through the use of spice, flavor, and texture. Flavor Finders is offered in February through April, 2020.

Powerful Plants celebrates the variety and value of plants that can also be food. Students gain information about the life cycle of a plant, conditions for growth, and the parts of the plant. Sequencing, problem solving, and information organization are included in the learning process. The cooking activity features a range of colorful produce rich in textures, tastes, vitamins, and minerals. Powerful Plants is offered in April through June, 2020.

To begin the registration process, please complete our online intake form for classroom teachers. Please contact Nourishing Literacy Lead, Shayna Marmar at or 215-686-5323, for any additional information needed. Updates about Nourishing Literacy’s set of programs will be uploaded to our webpage throughout the school year, with key information added in late fall/early winter.

While Nourishing Literacy is free to Philadelphia public and charter schools, a fee of $200 per class is charged to private schools, schools outside of Philadelphia county, homeschool groups (minimum 15 students), as well as Philadelphia public school classrooms interested in visiting for a second time within the school year.

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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