The NRC offers a variety of educational and creative arts out-of-school time programs for youth ages 6-13, Monday-Thursday from 3:30 to 6:30. Our programs are designed to help youth achieve academic success, provide creative outlets to express themselves and develop self confidence. For more information, contact our Out-of-School Time Program.
Cooking classes at the NRC strive to give students a holistic experience with food. Basic kitchen skills and terms are learned with an emphasis on experimentation, creativity, and improvisation. Good, whole foods are a priority in our classes as well as fresh veggies and herbs from our garden when possible. Buttery biscuits or home-made pies and brownies occasionally make an appearance, but we usually stick to nutritious recipes to help educate our students about healthy eating choices and that it can, in fact, taste good! Bread making, cheese making, home-made pizza, cauliflower tots, and eggplant parmesan are just a few examples of creations our students have made. Cooking is Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday afternoon from 5:00-6:30.
In our gardening classes, youth at the Center help grow fruits and vegetables in our beautiful 1000 square foot urban farmlet, complete with mini-orchard, greenhouse, rainwater catchments, and compost system. Most of this fresh produce is sold to our neighbors, while some of it makes its way into cooking classes or meals for the young people in our building. Because we believe strongly in sustainable agriculture, we encourage organic growing practices. Participants learn how to plan, grow, and maintain a garden full of fresh produce year-round, and choose from a long list of activities dictated by the needs of the plants.
Cooking in the Garden
Cooking in the garden is exactly what it sounds like- cooking class that takes place in our garden! All recipes are raw with the focal point being solely on fresh fruits and vegetables. No oven necessary- the only equipment used are knives, cutting boards, and occasionally a food processor. The dishes that are made in this class are usually served the next day as the vegetable component for after school supper. Some favorites are cucumber salad, gazpacho, mulberry jam, and mulberry popsicles. Cooking in the garden is on Wednesdays from 5:00-6:30.
On select Fridays, youth go on field trips to local parks, museums, and educational venues. Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Maymont, Ipanema Cafe, the VMFA, and the Virginia Science Museum are just a few places we’ve visited recently. Call the center at (804) 864-5797 for details on upcoming trips.
Volunteering at our Out-of-School Time Program is a great way to help teach young people valuable life lessons and learn something about yourself in return.