Our Lady of Lourdes French Immersion Catholic School students and parents shared a virtual feast for Family Day.
In keeping with COVID-19 restrictions and the fact it was a school holiday, 25 families, 40 students, and four staff members and their families joined in the event sponsored by the parent council and prepared meals with an Italian theme Monday afternoon.
The event, the first of a three-part series, is known as Flames Virtual Engagement 2021. The parent council received funding through the Ministry of Education, Parents Reaching Out, promoting parent engagement.
“The benefits of parent engagement strengthens relationships within the school community and increases student achievement,” Lourdes vice principal Nadia Zanatta said.
“Families were able to register for this free event – and food kits with specific ingredients for the meal were delivered to the families,” Zanatta added.
The Zoom event was facilitated by Zanatta’s aunt Susan Kovacs-Weigel who is a Red Seal Chef from Sault Ste. Marie.
“The Italian theme stemmed from a school vote which was an idea generated by the parent council, they wanted to know what the students were interested in.”
Each class voted on a list of nine cultures and places which included Italian, Mexican, African, Hungarian, French, Asian, East Indian, Irish, and Spanish dishes. The Italian dishes took the win with 64 votes.
From there, Kovacs-Weigel generated a family-friendly menu of chicken penne pesto, tomato and bocconcini salad, oranges with a balsamic reduction, and a toasted pecan ice cream ball.
“What a joy to see the young food artists with their brush (ingredients), creating a unique masterpiece using imagination, improvisation, and ingenuity. They are driven by their soul, self-teaching that the thrill is in sharing the experience with family and others. I have learned much more than I could ever teach them,” said Kovacs-Weigel.
“Can't get over what an awesome idea this was. The best part was trying different things. We get so stuck in our rice/spaghetti and meatballs/tacos routine that this really helps give us an excuse to try something new,” said parent Kelly Nebreda.
“Thank you so much for the amazing afternoon. We had so much fun. It was inclusive so the entire family was able to participate and we recommend that families join in on the fun,” parent Erica Medahbie added.
“Such a fun activity to do as a family. The boys loved trying the food they prepared. So easy and tasted fantastic! Thank you (Lourdes staff and parent council), loved everything about it,” educational assistant, parent and parent council member Shanna Forest said.
According to Zanatta, “The turnout was fantastic The virtual platform brought us all together students and families were excited to show their creations. Many photos were shared as well. Even with restrictions we are still able to offer these amazing opportunities.”
“Our Catholic School Council is very forward thinking. We are motivated and driven to provide opportunities to our families. We are always looking for new members to join us.”
Plans are in the works for the next two parts of the activity series which include a dreamcatcher workshop and a paint night.