KELOLAND students get first Thanksgiving meal ever thanks to school program

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s been a rewarding day for students at the Career and Technical Education Academy as they put on something special — hosting a traditional Thanksgiving meal for kids from the elementary immersion program at Jane Addams. Janelle Whempner, a Culinary Instructor at CTE Academy, says the event gives her students a chance to practice what they’ve learned in the classroom.

“So they get to their skills to use and have a real audience for them and it gives us a chance to share one of our American traditions with some children who are new to our country and it’s a really awesome experience,” said Whempner.

Not only did the students get to eat, but they also learned how to make some of the food with the help of older students from the academy.

“We had different stations where they could learn how to make cranberry sauce, how to make butter, all these different things that are part of Thanksgiving,” said Leighton Feltman a senior at Lincoln High Schools who attends the CTE Academy.

Feltman is part of the culinary program. He says watching a child’s face light up while tasting their first bite of turkey, stuffing, or pumpkin pie is rewarding.

“Kids are very easy to get excited at whatever, so when they get to come in and eat good food and have fun making the food it’s a great experience,” said Feltman.

The students in the elementary immersion program come from all over the world. Today was designed to welcome them and help them learn about American culture one delicious spoonful at a time.

The Elementary Immersion Center provides basic English skills to students, preschool through fifth grade. Students learn basic English including words needed for conversation, early reading, and writing.

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