Seed to table, and then some

At Gilmore City-Bradgate a kitchen is designed for student learning

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Chloe Dickey, 9, a fourth-grader at Gilmore-City Bradgate Elementary School, enjoys a cucumber sandwich in the school's new learning kitchen Thursday.

GILMORE CITY — Students at Gilmore City-Bradgate Elementary School will have a unique opportunity to use a kitchen to help develop their education.

The learning kitchen was dedicated at the school Thursday afternoon.

The dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting was attended by school officials as well as state Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink, R-Fort Dodge, and a representative from Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office.

Kelsey Upah, the school’s seed-to-table garden manager, said the school wanted to house a garden program as well as a kitchen that was kid-friendly.

As a registered dietician, Upah said she wants to use the kitchen for a variety of topics.

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
A new produce garden was started at Gilmore City-Bradgate Elementary School. Both it and the new learning kitchen will enhance the school's curriculum.

“I want to connect where the food is from to health and wellness as well,” she said.

The kitchen will also help with the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — STEM — curriculum.

“It’ll meet a lot of the STEM curriculum,” Upah said. “Data and measuring, math and science, maybe even some technology too.”

The learning kitchen will be used by all grades.

Upah said what the students do in the kitchen might even depend on what they’re interested in. For example, if a student wants to learn how to make Play Dough, she said they can teach them how to do that in the kitchen.

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Carter Jensen, 10, a fifth-grader at Gilmore City-Bradgate Elementary School, adds some cucumbers to his plate during the opening celebration of the school's learning kitchen.

“We’re a passion-based learning school,” she said.

But she added that all students will get a safety demonstration before they’re allowed to use the kitchen.

The kitchen used to be a locker room, but with the help of community members, it was converted into its current use.

She said community members helped with the electricity, cabinetry and other installations.

Additionally, the school also has a greenhouse and produce garden, which is where the food for the programming will be coming from.

Upah said everybody in the school is looking forward to using the kitchen.

“The students are excited to learn how to start cooking,” she said. “I may be more excited to learn how to use the garden produce.”